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Morning Market Roundup: U.S. Home Prices Rise, Markets up from Recent Slump, 4Q Income Soars For...


Here’s what’s important in the business world this morning:

U.S. Home Prices: A measure of U.S. home prices rose 6.3 percent in October compared with a year ago, the largest yearly gain since July 2006.

Core Logic also says prices declined 0.2 percent in October from September, the second drop after six straight monthly increases. The monthly figures are not seasonally adjusted. The real estate data provider says the decline reflects the end of the summer home-buying season.

Prices rose compared with the previous year in all but five states, CoreLogic says.

Toll Brothers: Toll Brothers says its fiscal fourth-quarter net income soared, helped by a large income tax benefit and a 46 percent rise in revenue. The luxury homebuilder delivered more homes and its order backlog increased.

CEO Douglas C. Yearley Jr. said in a statement on Tuesday that higher home prices, low interest rates, pent-up demand, and improving consumer confidence prompted buyers to return to the housing market this year.

Its shares rose almost 4 percent in premarket trading.

For the three months ended Oct. 31, Toll Brothers Inc. earned $411.4 million, or $2.35 per share. That's up sharply from $15 million, or 9 cents per share, a year ago.

The latest quarter included an income tax benefit of $350.7 million, but the company didn't provide an estimate in its news release of how that affected its earnings per share.

Revenue increased 48 percent to $632.8 million from $427.8 million, topping Wall Street's forecast of $565.1 million.

Oil: The price of oil fell to near $88 a barrel on Wednesday amid worries over the U.S. economy.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude for January delivery was down 81 cents to $88.28 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract finished up 18 cents at $89.09 a barrel on the Nymex on Monday.

Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, was down $1.26 to $109.66 per barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange in London.

Markets: Markets recovered their poise Tuesday despite concerns over the progress of budget talks in the U.S. and the state of the world's largest economy in the run-up to key jobs data at the end of the week.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was up 0.1 percent at 5,876, while Germany's DAX rose 0.3 percent at 7,453. The CAC-40 in France was 0.7 percent higher at 3,590.

Wall Street was poised for a steady opening, with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures were up 0.1 percent.

Trading was relatively subdued across markets, with the euro up 0.2 percent at $1.3074 and the price of a barrel of benchmark New York oil a cent higher at $89.10 a barrel.

Earlier in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.3 percent to close at 9,432.46 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.2 percent to 21,799.97. South Korea's Kospi fell 0.3 percent to 1,935.18. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.8 percent to 1,975.14. The smaller Shenzhen Composite Index added 1.3 percent to 743.62.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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