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Home improvement stocks set to lead S&P 500 after storm

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks in home improvement chains looked set to lead the S&P 500 index <.SPX> higher on Wednesday as investors bet on reconstruction efforts following the devastating impact of hurricane Sandy on millions of homes on the east coast of the United States.

Shares in Home Depot , the world's largest home improvement retailer, rose 3.8 percent to $62.34 in premarket trade on the New York Stock Exchange, following a two-day market closure due to the impact of the storm. Shares of smaller rival Loews Companies rose 4.8 percent to $32.85. (Reporting by Edward Krudy; Editing by James Dalgleish)