U.S. stocks are trading solidly higher at midday after a two pieces of good news about the U.S. economy.
The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that Americans signed more contracts to buy previously occupied homes in May. It was the latest sign of the housing market's slow recovery after a slump of more than six years. Homebuilders soared.
The government had said earlier that businesses placed more orders for long-lasting manufactured goods in May. A separate measure of business investment also spiked.
Traders remain nervous about the festering debt crisis in Europe. But encouraging signs about the U.S. were enough to lift stocks.
The Dow rose 88 points to 12,623 at 11:45 a.m. EDT. The S&P 500 index rose 11 to 1,331. The Nasdaq rose 24 to 2,878.