Stocks up at midday as investors feel encouraged by oil price and home construction gains

Energy Associated Press

U.S. stocks are moving higher at midday as investors weigh a rebound in home construction, higher oil prices and a mix of corporate earnings reports.

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The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 13 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,036 as of 11:57 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 56 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,571. The Nasdaq gained 28 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,682.

Stocks of energy companies rose the most among the 10 sectors in the S&P 500, as the price of benchmark U.S. crude oil climbed 3 percent to $47.92 a barrel.

European markets were mostly higher as investors awaited the European Central Bank's decision Thursday on another wave of economic stimulus.