Stocks Rally on Housing Data

U.S. stocks closed higher for a fourth straight session Friday, reaching their highest levels of the year. Wall Street's rally continued as investors embraced a 7.2% spike in July existing home sales and encouraging comments about the economy from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.. In a speech at the Kansas City Fed's annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo., Bernanke acknowledged the global economy is more stable, and said "the prospects for a return to growth in the near term appear good."

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