(NEW YORK) — U.S. stock markets were essentially flat Tuesday. The Dow ended the day only slightly higher, while the S&P and Nasdaq inched lower.
The Dow added 12 points, closing at 13,564.64. The S&P and Nasdaq lost just two points and one point, respectively.
The latest sign of revival for the struggling housing market comes from builders. The National Association of Builders/Wells Fargo housing market index gained three points to a seasonally adjusted reading of 40. The index has not climbed that high since June 2006.
Confidence among homebuilders has been up five months in a row, and after a very deep housing slump the index is still more negative than positive. But gloom has been replaced by hope for the future, and the overall reading is now back to where it was just before the housing bubble burst six years ago.
The government releases reports Wednesday on monthly housing starts and existing home sales.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul R. La Monica, CNN
Parija Kavilanz, CNN