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Economic Strength Fuels Stock Rebound

Stock prices, which skidded Thursday in response to a warning about weak sales from Intel Corp., returned to near-record territory Friday as investors applauded a report showing continued strength in the labor market.

The Dow Jones industrial average shot up more than 125 points to reach 8,569.39, just shy of Tuesday’s record high. For the week, the Dow was up nearly 24 points.

In economic reports this week:

The Commerce Department reported that orders to U.S. factories rose 0.5 percent in January, with nearly all the strength coming from a 71.9 percent rebound in orders for aircraft.

Sales of new homes soared 10.3 percent in January, the biggest increase in more than four years, the Commerce Department said, as buyers flocked to take advantage of mortgage rates dipping below 7 percent.

The Conference Board, a business research organization in New York City, said its Index of Leading Indicators was unchanged for the second consecutive month.

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