Good news from mortgage and life insurers – optimism about extending the home-buyer tax credit and robust third-quarter earnings from several firms led to a boost in shares, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The tax credit has helped stabilize the housing market this year, giving mortgage insurers a much-needed boost. Ambac Financial and Genworth Financial each jumped 12 percent. MBIA Inc. gained 9 percent.

Lincoln Financial also increased 12 percent, and reported third-quarter income of $153 million, up 25 percent from the previous quarter. Hartford Financial and Prudential Financial also reported gains, albeit smaller than their competitors.