Friday morning stocks surged as the Dow Jones average went up 139 points to 9489 and the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 1.4% to climb above 2000, reported the Wall Street Journal.

After the National Association of Realtors reported a better than expected jump of 7.2% in existing home sales for July, the stock markets began the Friday morning surge.  The 7.2% increase in home resales was the biggest monthly increase in at least 10 years as first time home buyers rushed to take advantage of the first time home buyer credit that expires at the end of November.

Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, stated "economic activity appears to be leveling out in the United States and abroad."  He added that prospects for the near-term growth "appear good" but the recovery is likely to be relatively slow with unemployment only gradually declining from its current high levels, reported the Wall Street Journal.