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Stock market boost on mergers, homebuilder outlook

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Investors on Wall Street wouldn't mind it if today is a re-run of Monday's good show.

The stock market got a boost from mergers, homes, and phones. Stocks posted their biggest gains in almost two months. Two big deals suggested growing confidence in the economy: Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus was sold for $6 billion, and Koch Industries bought electronics component maker Molex for $7.2 billion.

Homebuilding stocks were some of the biggest gainers in the Standard & Poor's 500 index after Hovnavian Enterprises said home prices are rising and its backlog jumped almost 27 percent from a year earlier.

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