* Jobless claims fall, housing starts accelerate
* EBay gains after results beat expectations
* Bank of America, Citigroup results weigh on financials
* Dow up 0.8 pct, S&P 500 up 0.7 pct, Nasdaq up 0.7 pct
S&P 500 Hits New 5-Year High On Housing Boost, Jobless Claims
It will be fun to see how the rightwing noise machine tries to spin this good news into impending doom. If history is a guide, they'll come up with some cretinous theory. The good news (besides the increased signs of economic recovery) is that Americans are basically optimistic people, and the ugly pessimism and dark predictions for our country peddled by the Right, just makes conservatives appear even more out of touch.