Consumer confidence jump sends US stocks higher

US stocks closed decisively higher Tuesday following strong reports on consumer confidence and the housing market.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 13,901.59, up 117.42 (0.85 percent).

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 9.25 (0.62 percent) to 1,497.10 , while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 13.40 (0.43 percent) to 3,129.65.

The buoyant trading came after reports showed surprisingly robust new home sales and consumer confidence.

Stocks were also aided by congressional testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who reaffirmed that the Fed's aggressive stimulus program would remain in effect until economic conditions improve.

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