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Markets Rally with Renewed Optimism; Dow Up More Than 200

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The stock market soared on strong quarterly earnings from U.S. corporations and optimism that a deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff can be reached before Jan. 1.
The Dow picked up 208 points to close at 12,796. The tech-heavy Nasdaq closed at 2,916.07, up 63 points, fueled by a surge in Apple shares.  The S&P closed at 1,386.89, up 27 points.

Home improvement company Lowe's said its third-quarter profit surged 76 percent. That follows a quarterly report from Home Depot last week which raised its outlook for the year.

Sales of previously owned homes rose solidly in October -- up 2.1 percent, helped by improvement in the job market and record-low mortgage rates. The increase, along with a jump in homebuilder confidence this month, suggests the housing market continues to recover.

Confidence among U.S. homebuilders rose this month to its highest level in more than six years.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio