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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

New York (AFP) – U.S. stocks Tuesday moved higher following a report showing rising home prices as investors kicked off the final session of a banner year for equities.

About 30 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 25.36 points (0.15 percent) to 16,529.65.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 3.03 (0.16 percent) at 1,844.10, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added 12.07 (0.29 percent) at 4,166.27.

Both the Dow and S&P 500 were above their record closing levels.

Home prices for the 20 biggest U.S. cities rose a seasonally adjusted 1.0 percent in October compared with the prior month, according to the S&P Case-Shiller home price index.

Prices were up 13.6 percent year-over-year, slightly less than the 13.8 percent rise expected by analysts.

Car-rental company Hertz gained 6.4 percent after enacting a “poison pill” plan designed to prevent a group of shareholders from taking a controlling stake in the company.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway was flat after announcing that it will purchase a specialty chemicals unit from refiner Phillips 66, paying with shares Berkshire already holds in Phillips. News reports said the stock deal was worth about $1.4 billion. Phillips rose 2.5 percent.

Chipmaker Marvell Technology Group gained 6.1 percent after private equity firm KKR disclosed that it owns a 6.8 percent stake in the firm.

Hewlett-Packard dipped 0.4 percent after increasing the number of staff it plans to lay off by 5,000 to 34,000.

Bond prices were mixed. The yield on the 10-year bond rose to 3.00 percent from 2.98 percent, while the 30-year held steady at 3.91 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)