December 1, 2009 / 5:30 PM / 8 years ago

US STOCKS-Housing data and weaker dollar lift markets

* Manufacturing, housing data reinforce recovery hopes

* Dollar weakness spurs run-up in commodity shares

* Dow up 1.2 pct, S&P 500 up 1.2 pct; Nasdaq up 1.5 pct

* For up-to-the-minute market news, click [STXNEWS/US] (Updates to early afternoon)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Dec 1 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks gained on Tuesday as a weak dollar lifted commodity prices and home sales data reassured investors about the state of the housing market, considered one of the biggest drags on a recovery.

Sentiment also improved as concerns receded about the impact of Dubai’s debt woes, which some had feared could lead to another global crisis.

The U.S. dollar index .DXY fell 0.7 percent against a basket of currencies as waning anxiety about Dubai limited the greenback’s safe-haven appeal. For details, see [ID:nN01332891]

“The initial shock over Dubai prompted a flight to quality,” said Dan Faretta, senior market strategist at Lind-Waldock in Chicago. “Suddenly Dubai isn’t a big fear, and that relief is pushing the dollar down. That’s why we’re seeing the market rally.”

Crude oil futures gained 1.8 percent while the S&P Energy Index .GSPE advanced 1.8 percent. The Materials Index .GSPM surged 2.1 percent.

Pending sales of previously owned U.S. homes rose more than expected in October, reassuring investors about the state of the troubled sector. [ID:nN01495024]

Sales advanced to their highest level in 3-1/2 years, according to data from the National Association of Realtors, sending the Dow Jones home construction index .DJUSHB up 1.8 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 128.17 points, or 1.24 percent, to 10,473.01. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index .SPX gained 13.06 points, or 1.19 percent, to 1,108.69. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC climbed 32.67 points, or 1.52 percent, to 2,177.27.

Construction spending was flat in October, above the expectation for it to slide in the month. In addition, the Institute for Supply Management said that the manufacturing sector expanded in November, though the expansion was less than expected. [ID:nN01482360] and [ID:nN01377451]

Staples Inc SPLS.O jumped 6.4 percent to $24.82 after it reported adjusted third-quarter earnings that beat expectations and forecast sales growth in its fourth quarter. [ID:nN30469390]

Shares of troubled insurer American International Group Inc (AIG.N) surged 11 percent to $31.55 after it closed a pact with the New York Federal Reserve Bank that slashes its debt under a credit facility by more than half. [ID:nBNG432687]

The benchmark S&P 500 is up 63.9 percent from its 12-year closing low on March 9. (Editing by Jan Paschal) ((ryan.vlastelica@thomsonreuters.com; Tel: +1 646-223-6014; Reuters Messaging: ryan.vlastelica@reuters.com@reuters.net))

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