Billionaire Penny Pritzker. (AP/File)

Stocks closed higher on Wall Street after several encouraging economic reports Tuesday brought buyers back to the market. Home prices jumped in April. Durable goods orders also rose and consumer confidence soared.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 100.75, or 0.7 percent, to close at 14,760.31.

The S&P 500 rose 14.94, or 1 percent, to 1,588.03.

The Nasdaq composite rose 27.13, or 0.8 percent, to 3,347.89.

The Senate has confirmed billionaire business executive Penny Pritzker to be secretary of commerce, filling a vacancy that has stood since John Bryson resigned last summer.

The sweeping 97-1 vote installs Pritzker, a longtime Barack Obama friend who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for his presidential campaigns, at Commerce in time to assist in trade talks with the European Union and Pacific Rim nations.

Barnes & Noble says its loss more than doubled in the latest quarter to $118.6 million as it continued losing money in its Nook e-book reader unit. Revenue fell 7 percent to $1.28 billion.

The largest traditional U.S. bookseller has invested heavily in its Nook and digital library to offset competition from online retailers and discounters, but the unit has yet to turn a profit. The company now says its tablet line will be co-branded with a third party.

Passengers remain hesitant to book cruises, despite deep discounts. But that didn’t stop Carnival Corp. from eking out a $41 million second-quarter profit thanks to lower fuel costs and the timing of some administrative expenses.

The profit was nearly triple what the world’s largest cruise company earned during same period last year, a quarter in which it suffered from steep losses on fuel prices bets known as derivatives.

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Men’s Wearhouse is shedding some light on why it parted ways with founder George Zimmer.

The men’s clothing retailer says that Zimmer seemed to have difficulty “accepting the fact that Men’s Wearhouse is a public company with an independent board of directors and that he has not been the chief executive officer for two years.”

Men’s Wearhouse fired Zimmer, 64, as executive chairman last week. The retailer says Zimmer, who owns 3½ percent of the stock, advocated for “significant changes that would enable him to regain control.”

A company that specializes in logistics is bringing about 130 jobs to York County. State officials said Tuesday the supply chain management company Exel plans to spend $38 million to build a distribution facility.

Exel is getting a grant of $500,000 for site preparation and infrastructure improvements. Officials say they expect the new facility to be up and running by next spring.

Wire reports