US STOCKS-Wall St rises modestly on home sales lift
* HP gains after results, job cut plans
* Aeropostale plunges after outlook
* New home sales rebound
* PTC shares soar on EU backing for muscular dystrophy drug
* Indexes up: Dow 0.31 pct, S&P 0.32 pct, Nasdaq 0.43 pct (Updates to midday, adds housing stocks)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, May 23 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose modestly on Friday, after a better-than-expected reading on the housing market, with the S&P on track to set a new record closing high.
Sales of new U.S. single-family homes rose more than expected in April and the supply of houses on the market hit a 3-1/2 year high. The PHLX housing sector index rose 1.4 percent, with homebuilders Lennar Corp up 3 percent to $40.14 and D.R. Horton advancing 1.9 percent to $23.08.
The S&P is 0.2 percent from its record intraday high of 1,902.17 set on May 13 and is above its record closing high of 1,897.45 the same day. The index has been range-bound between the highs and its 50-day moving average as investors have been unsure of the pace of the economic recovery. Continuación...