US STOCKS-S&P 500 on path to new closing high; homebuilders lead
* HP gains on day after results and job-cut plans
* New home sales rebound; homebuilding stocks rise
* Dow up 0.4 pct; S&P 500 up 0.4 pct; Nasdaq up 0.6 pct (Updates to mid-afternoon)
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, May 23 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 was on track for a record closing high on Friday, boosted by a better-than-expected reading on the housing market, which gave a lift to homebuilding stocks.
The index was poised to score its fifth daily gain out of the past six sessions and its first weekly advance out of the past three.
A housing index jumped 1.7 percent after Commerce Department data showed that 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.
Shares of Lennar Corp, the second-largest U.S. homebuilder in terms of revenue, shot up 3.4 percent to $40.33. The stock of top U.S. homebuilder D.R. Horton Inc climbed 3.2 percent to $23.37.
The S&P 500 is 0.2 percent from its record intraday high of 1,902.17 set on May 13 and above its record closing high of 1,897.45 the same day. Continuación...