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HOME BUILDERS LEAD STOCK RISE

Published Jun. 27, 2012

Associated Press

NEW YORK - Home builders led stocks up Tuesday, helping major indexes recoup some losses from the day before. Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. surged after the media conglomerate said it may split into two companies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 32.01 points to close at 12,534.67. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 6.27 points to 1,319.99. The Nasdaq composite rose 17.90 points to 2,854.06.

PulteGroup, Lennar and other housing stocks climbed following news that a measure of national home prices rose 1.3 percent in April, the first increase in seven months. The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index showed a rise in 19 out of the 20 major cities tracked; Detroit was the only city where prices fell.

"There's some good news out there, especially if you look at the housing market," said John De Clue of U.S. Bank's wealth management unit in Minneapolis.

News Corp. jumped 8 percent. The company confirmed that it's contemplating a breakup into two publicly traded companies. The split would divide its publishing from its entertainment businesses. The media empire includes the Wall Street Journal, Fox News Channel, and newspapers in Britain and Australia. News Corp.'s stock leapt $1.68 to $21.76.

More worrisome developments in Europe kept U.S. markets in check. Spain's borrowing costs jumped in a pair of short-term debt auctions, the latest sign that investors are hesitant to lend the country money. The interest rate on the country's three-month bills was 2.36 percent Tuesday, nearly triple the rate in the last such auction in May.