Encouraging economic news from Europe and the Commerce Department put a charge into stocks Tuesday, sending the Dow Jones Industrial average up 337 points – its largest single-day surge of the month.

The Commerce Department said builders broke ground on 685,000 new homes last month, a 9.3% jump from October. That's the highest level since April 2010. Building permits, a gauge of future construction, increased 5.7%, spurred by a jump in apartment permits.

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