Stocks surge on news of increases in consumer confidence and home prices

Trader Thomas Kay, left, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday. U.S. stock futures are moving sharply higher Tuesday to start the week after the three-day holiday weekend and ahead of the latest update on the mood of the American consumer.

Richard Drew

NEW YORK == Stocks surged in early trading following a three-day weekend after U.S. home prices rose the most in seven years.

Home prices in the U.S. rose 10.9 percent in March, the most since April 2006, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index. Home builder stocks rose following the report.

Stocks extended their gains after consumer confidence rose in May to its highest level in five years.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 206 points, or 1.4 percent, to 15,514 as of 10:10 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time Tuesday.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 23 points, or 1.4 percent, to 1,673.

Markets were closed Monday for Memorial Day.

Tiffany rose 5 percent after the jewelry company said its sales improved across all regions.