US futures rise; Dow closes in on record high

March 5, 2013 

WALL STREET

Joseph Mastrolia, left, with Barclays, calls out stock prices for JC Penney at the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, March 5, 2013 in New York.

MARK LENNIHAN — ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. stock futures are rising after a volatile start to the week and the Dow is again within striking distance of an all-time closing high.

Dow Jones industrial futures are up 31 points to 13,147. S&P futures have added 4 points to 1,529.70. Nasdaq futures are up 11.5 points to 2,771.50.

Futures do not necessarily foretell which way the market will go at the opening bell, but there are catalysts for a run at the market peak reached in October 2007, just before the recession hit.

Home prices rose 9.7 percent in January from a year ago, according to data released Tuesday by CoreLogic. That’s the biggest annual gain since April 2006.

The U.S. housing market may be hitting its stride just ahead of the spring selling season.


Economic indicators

Home

prices

What: Jumped 9.7 percent nationally in January from a year ago, according to data released Tuesday by CoreLogic – the

biggest annual gain since April 2006.

Why: Rising demand combined with fewer available homes.

Why it matters: The market continues to gain momentum heading into the peak spring selling season, suggesting a good year ahead.

Challenges: Home values were still down more than 26 percent nationally from their peak in April 2006.


Service companies

What: U.S. service companies –

including retail,

construction, health care and financial services – grew in February at the

fastest pace in a year.

Why: They were buoyed by higher sales and more new orders.

Why it matters: The gain suggests higher taxes have yet to slow consumer spending on services, and growth encourages hiring.

Challenges:

Consumers still could cut back in response to a rise in Social Security taxes,

especially if they are impacted by

government spending cuts, such as a

reduction in overtime or furloughs for

federal workers.

SOURCE: The Associated Press

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