U.S. stocks turned higher Wednesday morning, despite worries over the Greek economy that have put pressure on markets for the past week.
Talks to create a coalition government in Athens have failed, forcing Greek President Karolos Papoulias to appoint a caretaker government that would hold the reins until mid-June, when a second national election would take place.
In Washington, the Commerce Department said housing starts rose 2.6 percent in April, but permits issued, which predicts future construction projects, were down 7 percent in the month compared to March.
In midmorning trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 50.44 points, or 0.4 percent, to 12,682.44 The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index added 12.72 points, 0.44 percent, to 2,906.48. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 6.42 points, 0.48 percent, to 1,337.08.
The benchmark 10-year treasury note fell 9/32 to yield 1.804 percent.
The euro fell to $1.2711 from Tuesday's $1.273. Against the yen, the dollar rose to 80.40 yen from Tuesday's 80.19 yen.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index fell 1.12 percent, 99.57, to 8,801.17.
In London, the FTSE fell 0.51 percent, 27.90, to 5,437.62.