The S&P 500 was up 0.5% in midday trading to 2,046.42
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.3% to 17,588.12.
The NASDAQ was up 1.1% to 4,820.32.
The yield on a 10-year Treasury bond was down 2.3% t o1.83%.
The price of gold was up 1.4% to $1,237.
Orange County homebuilders were up as Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen is expected in public comments today to indicate a slower pace of interest rate increases in 2016.
Irvine-based CalAtlantic Group Inc. was up 2% to $32.76 and a $4 billion market cap. Irvine-based Tri Pointe Group Inc. was up 2.2% to a $1.9 billion market cap. Newport Beach-based William Lyon Homes was up 3.3% to $13.93 and a $460 million market cap. Aliso Viejo-based New Home Co. Inc. was up 3.3% to $11.56 and a $237 million market cap.