Stocks Climb on Higher Consumer Confidence, Home Prices

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Stocks rose on Tuesday, with the Dow adding almost 100 points, as investors embraced data that had consumer confidence hitting a six-year high in March.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed unofficially 91 points ahead, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq also gained slightly.

"The markets are keying on the consumer confidence number, which surprised on the upside. The U.S. economy is dependent on consumers," said Chris Gaffney, EverBank senior market strategist.

The Conference Board reported consumer confidence rose to 82.3 in March, up from 78.3 the month before; another report from the Commerce Department had new-home sales slipping 3.3 percent in February. And, the S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities climbed 13.2 percent from January 2013.

"The February housing numbers have to have some weather-related in them still, so that excuse is still there," said Gaffney.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), a measure of investor uncertainty, traded near 15.

The dollar held steady against other global currencies and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note climbed 1 basis point to 2.745 percent. Crude futures declined 41 cents to $99.19 a barrel; gold futures for April delivery rose 20 cents to $1,311.40 an ounce.

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President CharlesPlosser told CNBC that Fed members found were surprised by the market's reaction to recent policy statements, saying they tried to say quite explicitly that the central bank's view had not changed.