The S&P 500 was up 0.27% to 1,491.87 in afternoon trading Tuesday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.68% to 13,878.39, while the Nasdaq rose 0.03% to 3,117.23.
The yield on a 10-year treasury bond fell 1.64% to 1.86%.
The price of gold was up 1.78% to $1,614.90 per ounce.
Shares of Irvine homebuilder Standard Pacific Corp. were up about 7% to $7.89 for a market value of $2.7 billion. New-home sales jumped nearly 16% in January, sending homebuilders’ stocks up in afternoon trading Tuesday on the news.
Anaheim drug maker Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc. was up about 5% to $32.69 for a market value of $1.9 billion. Questcor is expected to report fourth-quarter results after the market closes.