Stocks, housing boost economic outlook

Report: Conference Board index up for second straight month

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The Conference Board U.S. leading index in April grew for the second straight month as stocks and building permits posted gains.

According to the group’s report released Monday, stock prices, interest-rate spread and housing permits made large positive contributions to the index last month, pushing it up another 0.1 percent, despite sharp declines in average weekly manufacturing hours and consumer expectations.

The leading index now stands at 102.