Stocks rise, helped by home builders, Tiffany

November 26, 2013
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FILE - In this Nov. 22, 2013 file photo, trader Patrick McKeon, left, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. World stock markets were mostly lower Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013, after a lull in Wall Street's record-breaking run ahead of a U.S. holiday. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are edging higher after the government reported a strong uptick in construction permits last month.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 16.1 points to 16,088.70. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 2 points to 1,804.40 and the Nasdaq composite added 14.6 points to 4,009.20.

Trading is light in the holiday-shortened week.

The Commerce Department reported U.S. homebuilders planned to build apartments at the fastest pace in five years in October, a signal they believe rentals will heat up in coming months. Shares of homebuilders Pulte, Toll Brothers, and Lennar all rose.

Shares of Tiffany & Co. are up 8.4 percent on strong quarterly earnings. Profit at the luxury retailer climbed 50 percent in the third quarter thanks to strong sales in Asia.