The stock markets in the United States rallied due to reports that home prices in the country and the number of residential building permits issued increased.

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According to the S&P/Case-Schiller index of property, home prices increased 13.3%, an indication that the housing market continues to grow despite the rising interest rates. Last month, home prices rose 12.8%.

On the other hand, the Department of Commerce reported that the number of permits issued for residential building in October was 1,034,000 million, the highest level over the past five years. The report indicated that permits for single-family homes declined to 620,000 while the permits for multi-family housing climbed to 414,000.

Patrick Newport and Stephanie Karol, economists at HIS Global Insight commented, “This was a mixed report. Despite strong October numbers, a three-month moving average of both single- and multifamily permits shows that construction is slowing.”

On the other hand, Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones & Co. told Bloomberg in a telephone interview, “We’re tending to move in a positive direction. We’re getting data in a sweet spot. It’s positive but not so positive as to raise worries about the Fed moving sooner and yet it continues to show that the economy is gaining some traction.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 16,072.86 (+0.00%)
  • S&P 500- 1,802.83 (+0.02%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,017.75 (+0.58%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,134.85 (+0.90%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,062.62 (-0.33%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,636.22 (-0.87%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,290.07 (-0.11%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 15,515.24 (-0.67%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 23,681.28 (-0.01%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,387.42 (-0.05%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE:HRL) climbed more than 6% to $45.10 per share after reporting better than expected financial results for the fourth quarter and increased its dividend from $0.17 to $0.20 per share. The maker of Jennie-O turkeys and Spam posted $0.58 earnings per share on $2.32 billion revenue.

Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc (NASDAQ:JOSB) gained almost 11% to $56.11 a share after Men’s Wearhouse, Inc (NYSE:MW) offered to acquire the company for $1.5 billion. Jos .A. Bank previously offered to buy its rival for $2.3 billion, but it was turned down by Men’s Wearhouse as it believed that the offer undervalued the company.

The stock value of Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF) increased by more than 8% to $87.98 per share after the company reported $0.73 earnings per share o $911.5 million revenue. The jewelry company also raised its full year 2013 earnings guidance in the range of $3.65-$3.75 per share.

Meanwhile, the stock price of Workday Inc (NYSE:WDAY) surged more than 12% to $82.56 per share after the company projected to deliver a revenue in the range of $133 million to $138 million for the fourth quarter, which is higher than the estimates of Wall Street analysts.