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

EnergyAssociated 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.

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.

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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.