Factory orders for U.S. factories rose 0.7% which was the first increase in bookings in three months. Last month's revised figure showed a 0.7% drop and economists had expected a 0.1% increase for June.
Many major automakers reported increased sales with U.S. automakers Chrysler, Ford and GM leading the way.
With the market off tomorrow and a shortened day today, traders expect a subdued state until Friday's latest unemployment numbers are released.
The major news came from British banking empire Barclays PLC (NYSE ADR: BCS).
Barclays PLC (NYSE ADR: BCS) announced Tuesday that its CEO Robert Diamond would resign effective immediately in the wake of the scandal involving lending rate manipulation.
Barclays was fined $450 million last week by British and U.S. regulators and is among other banks involved in similar lawsuits concerning rate fixing during the financial crisis of the past four years.
British Chancellor George Osborne cheered the resignation of Diamond calling it the "right decision" and encouraged banks to move forward and continue lending.
"We need our banks to be focused on lending to the economy, not on the scandals of the past, and I hope this will be the first step towards a new culture of responsibility in British banking which is what the British people want to see," Osborne told BBC Radio 4's "Today" program.
Diamond, who became CEO on Jan. 1 2011, is set to face British lawmakers tomorrow for questioning. Barclays stock fell 16% on June 28 when the scandal broke and is down almost 2% today.
Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) and General Motors (NYSE: GM) are doing well after announcing sales increases of 7.7% and 16 % respectively, both of which far surpassed Wall Street's expectations.
This is much needed positive news for Ford after it announced last week that it expects heavy losses for its second quarter due to the Eurozone debt crisis. Ford announced on June 29 that its losses for the second quarter would triple, possibly totaling up to $600 million.
Ford sank almost 5% after those reports, but was up over 3% today. GM was up 6.4% by noon.
Among today's biggest gainers by midday was Nanosphere Inc. (Nasdaq: NSPH), a developer, manufacturer and marketer of molecular diagnostics platform the Verigene System.
The Food and Drug Administration last week granted the company a de novo petition permitting marketing for a blood stream infection test, known as Gram-Positive Blood Culture Nucleic Acid Test (BC-GP).
The stock went up over 20% after that announcement and is up almost 30% today amid speculation surrounding the test - as well as a Jefferies upgrade to a "Buy" rating.
The Dow Jones today was up 70 points, or 0.56%, and the S&P 500 9 points, or 0.62%, as of noon.
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