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Wall Street Stocks Start Higher

December 18, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) _ Stock prices were higher in early Wall Street trading Tuesday. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 51 points. On the New York Stock Exchange, advancers held about a 5 to 3 advantage over decliners.

The Nasdaq composite index gained 13 points, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 was up 6.

Stocks were starting higher after some strong economic figures and earnings news.

The government reported Tuesday that housing starts jumped 8.2 percent last month, much stronger than anticipated.

Also, retailers Best Buy and Circuit City posted earnings that topped analysts’ estimates, while GE reaffirmed earlier forecasts.

The early gains followed on the heels of an advance Monday on Wall Street.

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