Shares in local mortgage lenders and homebuilders ticked higher Monday after JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its bid for embattled investment firm Bear Stearns Cos. and a report showed home sales increased in February.
JPMorgan, which initially offered to buy Bear Stearns for $2 per share, revised its offer Monday to $10 per share. Shares in Calabasas-based Countrywide Financial Corp. shot up 6.5 percent to $6.16 while Pasadena-based IndyMac Bancorp. gained 5 percent to $5.24.
In addition to the JPMorgan move, local homebuilders also got a push after the National Association of Realtors said Monday that sales of existing homes rose 2.9 percent in February when compare to January.
Investors took the news as another sign the housing sector may not worsen any further and helped push shares in Los Angeles-based KB Home up more than 10 percent to $27.76 while also helping Calabasas-based Ryland Group Corp. add 4.7 percent to $34.39.
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