NEW YORK, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- U.S. stock indexes held onto gains Wednesday as two reports showed a recovery in the housing market taking hold.
The U.S. Commerce Department said 750,000 private housing construction projects were started in August, 2.3 percent more than July's 733,000 starts on a seasonally adjusted basis.
The report follows Tuesday's report from the National Association of Home Builders that said its confidence index in September rose for the fifth consecutive month.
The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday existing home sales in August rose 7.8 percent from July, with 4.82 million single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums and co-ops sold in the month, using a seasonally adjusted annual rate.
It was the sixth consecutive month existing home sales were higher than the same month 12 months earlier.
By close of trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average added 13.32 points, or 0.1 percent, to 13,577.96. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index added 4.82 points, or 0.15 percent, to 3,182.62. The Standard and Poor's 500 gained 1.73 points, or 0.12 percent, to 1,461.05.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 1,731 stocks advanced and 1,271 declined on a volume of 3.4 billion shares traded.
The benchmark 10-year treasury rose 9/32 to yield 1.781 percent.
The euro rose to $1.305 from Tuesday's $1.3048. The U.S. dollar fell to 78.36 yen from 78.82 yen.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index added 1.19 percent, 108.44 points, to 9,232.21.
In London, the FTSE 100 index gained 0.35 percent, 20.32 points, to 5,888.48.
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