Stock and housing gains put U.S. net worth at record

WASHINGTON (AP) — A surging stock market and rebounding home prices boosted Americans’ wealth to a record in the final three months of last year, though both trends have slowed so far in 2014.

Household net worth jumped nearly $3 trillion during last year’s fourth quarter to $80.7 trillion. Stock and mutual fund portfolios gained nearly $1.7 trillion, or 9 percent.

The value of Americans’ homes rose just over $400 billion, a 2 percent gain. And checking account balances, pensions plan assets and retirement savings, such as 401(k)s, also increased.

Home prices nationwide during 2013 rose by the most in eight years. And the Standard & Poor’s 500 index of large stocks jumped 32 percent.

So far this year, home-price gains have slowed, and the S&P 500 has risen just 1.4 percent.