US STOCKS-Wall St rises after recent selling, homebuilders rally

Last Updated: Tue, Jun 25, 2013 18:50 hrs

* Strong data helps calm markets roiled by Fed

* Homebuilders rally after Lennar results, data

* Walgreen slips after earnings

* Indexes up: Dow 0.6 pct, S&P 0.7 pct, Nasdaq 0.5 pct

By Alison Griswold

NEW YORK, June 25 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday after strong housing and durable-goods figures brought a measure of calm to investors worried about the Federal Reserve's plans to reduce its massive monetary stimulus.

Analysts said the market was due for a rebound after Monday's sizeable drop, which followed the worst week for the S&P 500 since April. Even with the latest gains, the index remains down 5.1 percent from its all-time closing high of 1,669.16 reached on May 21.

The recent downturn was sparked by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's announcement last week the Fed will begin to scale back its in monthly bond purchases as the economy improves. The declines have been broad and have come on heavy volume, indicating selling by investors with large positions.

"The overreaction was stunning. This market got sold off to quickly, too far, too fast, across all sectors, and traders and investors threw everything out," said Keith Bliss, senior vice-president at Cuttone & Co. in New York.

"There's a lot of great buying opportunities that were created in the last few days and I think investors will step in and take advantage of that."

Data on durable goods orders, sales of new homes and consumer confidence all topped analysts' expectations. The April Case/Shiller report on home prices also exceeded forecasts. Should this run of strong economic figures continue, it will mollify those worried about lack of Fed support.

Housing stocks were among the strongest of the day after the data and also after Lennar Corp posted strong results, pointing to a "solid housing recovery." The stock rose 1 percent to $35.35 while the PHLX housing sector index climbed 1.4 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 80.75 points, or 0.55 percent, at 14,740.31. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 11.28 points, or 0.72 percent, at 1,584.37. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 16.46 points, or 0.50 percent, at 3,337.22.

While the S&P is up 11.2 percent in 2013, the recent trend has been negative, with the benchmark index dropping below both its 14-day and 50-day moving averages, seen as signs of near-term market direction. The S&P is down about 2.7 percent in June.

The index on Monday closed at its lowest level since April 22 after China's central bank said the country's banks need to do a better job of managing their cash and due to continued worries about a reduction in stimulus from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

On Tuesday, the People's Bank of China said it would not press banks too hard in its efforts to curb easy credit and prevent a possible banking crisis.

Carnival Corp jumped 4.4 percent to $34.68 after the cruise ship operator named a new chief executive and affirmed its full-year profit outlook.

On the downside, Walgreen Co slumped 6.2 percent to $45.08 as the worst performer on the S&P 500 after reporting weaker-than-expected results, citing slow front-end sales and a challenging economy.

Barnes & Noble Inc tumbled 19.9 percent to $15.07 after the largest U.S. bookstore chain reported its quarterly net loss more than doubled.

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