MARKETS-USA-STOCKS:Housing, profits lift Wall St, Amazon up late
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose for a third day on Thursday after upbeat housing data and stronger-than-expected results from companies, including Citrix Systems Inc
An index of pending home sales rose to nearly a two-year high in March, sending the Philadelphia Stock Exchange index of housing-related shares <.HGX> up 3 percent. Shares of homebuilder Lennar
The stock of PulteGroup Inc
After the closing bell, shares of Amazon.com
During the regular session, the positive news on the housing front helped the market overcome data showing a stumbling labor market recovery. Initial claims for jobless benefits fell slightly in the latest week, but missed forecasts.
Shares of Citrix surged 12.4 percent to $86.76 a day after the business software company reported strong net income, prompting analysts to raise estimates.
Among other results, weapons maker Lockheed Martin Corp
"You can get cautious right here, but do not get bearish. There are too many good things happening," said Jeffrey Saut, chief investment strategist of Raymond James Financial in St. Petersburg, Florida.
With 254 companies in the S&P 500 reporting, more than 72 percent have topped estimates, according to Thomson Reuters data. A big beat from Apple Inc
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 113.90 points, or 0.87 percent, to close at 13,204.62. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index advanced 9.29 points, or 0.67 percent, to 1,399.98. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 20.98 points, or 0.69 percent, to 3,050.61.
Not everything on the earnings front was rosy. Exxon Mobil Corp
Exxon fell 0.9 percent to $86.07, Aetna slid 8.2 percent to $45.31 and UPS lost 1.8 percent to $78.25.
Wednesday's rally helped to purge a lot of April's losses brought on by investors' worries over prospects for a seasonally weak market in May as well as signs that Europe's debt crisis was getting worse.
"If we do run here, my guess is we run towards the intraday high we made back on April 2 around 1,422, and we fail to break out and then we pull back again," Saut said.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc
Also helping to support the Dow, shares of Chevron Corp
Volume was 6.7 billion shares on the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the NYSE Amex, compared with the daily average this year of 6.77 billion.
Advancers outpaced decliners by a ratio of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by about 5 to 3 on the Nasdaq.
(Editing by Jan Paschal)