Wages and spending rose in the U.S. last month, and pending home sales hit their highest level in three years.
Shortly after 10:30 a.m., the Dow Jones industrial average was up 62 points at 14,775, a gain of 0.4 percent.
The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes reached the highest level since April 2010, according to the National Association of Realtors. Back then, a tax credit for buying houses had lifted sales.
In other trading, the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose nine points to 1,591, or 0.6 percent. The S&P 500 is just two points below the record high close of 1,593 it reached April 11.
The Nasdaq composite rose 30 points at 3,309, or 0.9 percent.
Before the market opened the government reported that Americans' spending and income both rose 0.2 percent last month.
Moody's and Standard & Poor's parent company McGraw-Hill surged following news that the ratings agencies settled lawsuits dating back to the financial crisis that accused them of concealing risky investments. McGraw-Hill gained 6 percent to $54.80, while Moody's jumped 10 percent to $61.02, the biggest gain in the S&P 500.
Eaton Corp. gained 5 percent to $61.31 after reporting that its quarterly net income jumped, beating Wall Street's estimates. The results were helped by its acquisition of Cooper Industries, an electrical equipment supplier.
In the market for government bonds, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 1.65 percent. That's down from 1.67 percent late Friday.