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Morning Market Roundup: Investors Hopeful on Housing Data


Here’s what’s shaking:


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Futures are rising on what is expected to be more upbeat data on housing from the government as well as strong earnings from U.S. companies.

Dow Jones industrial futures are up 32 points to 13,813. The broader S&P futures have added 4 points to 1,495.80. Nasdaq futures are up 10.5 points to 2,729.

Homebuilders are heading into 2013 with a head of steam. The Commerce Department is expected to report that new home sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 383,000 in December. Sales rose in November to 383,000, the fastest pace in more than 2 1/2 years.

Shares of homebuilders are rising in advance of the report.

And household products makers Friday are beating Wall Street expectations for the quarter. Both Procter & Gamble and Kimberly-Clark posted healthy earnings.


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The price of oil edged above $96 per barrel Friday despite ample stockpiles of crude amid signs of growth in the world's two largest economies.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for March delivery was up 32 cents to $96.27 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 72 cents to finish at $95.95 a barrel on the Nymex on Thursday.

Oil prices also benefited from investors' confident mood, reflected by rising indexes on the main European stock markets and gains by the euro against the dollar.

A weaker dollar makes crude cheaper - and a more attractive investment - for traders using other currencies. On Friday, the euro was up at $1.3436 from $1.3378 late Thursday in New York.

Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, was up 35 cents at $113.63 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London. Hewson said the price of Brent is "stuck firmly in a dead zone of inactivity, but near its recent range highs."


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The AP contributed to this report.

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