NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are rising sharply for a second day as evidence mounts that the housing market is making a comeback.
The Dow jumped 188 points to 14,087 as of 3:31 p.m. It's up more than 300 points over the past two days, putting it within 100 points of its record high of 14,164 reached in October 2007.
Home builder stocks surged for a second day as more positive news about housing rolled in.
A day after the government reported that sales of new homes jumped 16 percent last month, a realty group said the number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes jumped in January to the highest level in almost three years.
Hovnanian soared 6 percent to $6.13 and Lennar rose 3 percent to $39.11.