The markets advanced during the midday with the Dow rising 36 points to 13,268 with homebuilders expecting improved sales over the next six months. Nasdaq climbed 31 points to 3086.
On the upside
Ampio Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: AMPE) reported upbeat results from a midstage clinical trial of its diabetic macular edema treatment Optina.
Shares of oil tanker operators DHT Holdings (NYSE: DHT), Frontline (NYSE: FRO) and Teekay Tankers (NYSE: TNK) all climbed after the Vancouver Sun reported that Saudi Arabia will increase oil sales to the United States.
Analysts expect Lions Gate Entertainment's (NYSE: LGF) "The Hunger Games" to open this weekend with over $100 million in ticket sales.
On the downside
Shares of KB Home (NYSE: KBH) dropped after home builder sentiment held steady in March instead of rising.
Barclays initiated coverage of Yingli Green Energy (NYSE: YGE) with an Equal Weight rating.
SMF Energy (Nasdaq: FUEL) continued falling after the company suspended its dividend on Friday and warned of lower earnings and revenue.
In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 7 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks soared 11 points to 841.