U.S. stocks traded slightly higher around midday Wednesday, as Wall Street digested a batch of generally positive data.
By noon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 6.67 points, or 0.04 percent, to 17,818.86. The S&P 500 edged up 0.83 point, or 0.04 percent, to 2,089.97. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 13.46 points, or 0.26 percent, to 5,116.27.
U.S. new orders for manufactured durable goods in October increased 6.9 billion U.S. dollars, or 3.0 percent to 239.0 billion dollars, well above market consensus, the Commerce Department announced Wednesday. This increase followed a 0.8-percent September decrease.
In a separate report, the department said U.S. personal income in October increased 68.1 billion dollars, or 0.4 percent, on par with market estimates. Personal consumption expenditures increased 15.2 billion dollars, or 0.1 percent, in October.
U.S. sales of new single-family houses in October 2015 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 495,000, according to the Commerce Department Wednesday. This is 10.7 percent above the revised September rate of 447,000 and is 4.9 percent above the October 2014 estimate of 472,000.
"New home sales have been stuck bouncing around 500k since mid-2014, and this October's number is no exception. Limited supply, tight credit and still conservative consumers, have held back the housing market recovery thus far," said Sophia Kearney-Lederman, an economic analyst at FTN Financial.
Meanwhile, in the week ending Nov. 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims decreased 12,000 from the previous week's revised level to 260,000, below market expectations of 270,000, reported the U.S. Labor Department Wednesday.
The four-week moving average was 271,000, unchanged from the previous week's revised average.
On Tuesday, U.S. stocks erased early losses to close mildly higher, as investors digested the country's revised economic growth for the third quarter of 2015 amid geopolitical tension.