Updated from 9:35 a.m.
Stocks were higher on Tuesday morning after receiving positive housing and consumer confidence data. Oil prices gained as Wall Street enters a slow week between Christmas and the New Year.
The S&P 500 was up 0.38%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.19%, and the Nasdaq increased 0.76%.
The S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index for October saw a 0.6% increase from the prior month and a 5.1% jump from a year ago, showing a positive improvement in the residential housing market. The consumer confidence index for December jumped to 113.7 from 109.4, after a significant increase following the presidential election in November. The December data is the highest confidence level since 2001.
The Dow will be on watch as it moves closer to the 20,000 milestone, hitting a intraday high of 19,980 on Tuesday. The Dow recently rose to within 15 points of the milestone but has since retreated after hitting the 19,000 mark on Nov. 22.
Crude oil prices were slightly up as prices have rebounded following an agreement from Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries oil producers to decrease global oil supplies.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose 1.02% to $53.56 a barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude, the global benchmark, traded at $55.64, down 0.87%.
Italy's oldest bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, is reported to need a bailout of €8.8 billion ($9.2 billion), according to the European Central Bank. This comes as the bank continues to struggle with liquidity problems. The ECB said that Monte dei Paschi's capital reserves are larger than previously estimated.
Tesla Motors(TSLA) - Get Report and Panasonic, in a joint statement, said that the companies have agreed to work together on the construction of a Gigafactory, a large-scale battery manufacturing plant in the U.S. Panasonic will spend 30 billion yen ($256 million) on the New York state cylindrical lithium-ion cell facility, which both companies said will employ 6,500 workers by 2020. Shares of Tesla were up 3.4% to $220.51 in trading.
Amazon(AMZN) - Get Report shares were trading up 1.4% to $771.24 in trading Tuesday as investors assess how the retail giant did during the Christmas sales season. During the holidays, the company said that it shipped more than one billion products and that it was the best year for its Amazon devices, like the Echo Dot.
Biogen(BIIB) - Get Report shares moved higher Tuesday following the FDA's approval of Spinraza, used to treat spinal muscular atrophy. Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS) - Get Report developed the drug. Shipments of the drug will be made available to health care providers within one week, the company said. Biogen's stock was up 2.4% to $294.60, while Ionis was up 4.2% to $55.65.
Pharmacy chain Fred's (FRED) traded lower after Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund investor, took 25% ownership of the company. On Tuesday the drugstore said it was adopting a shareholder rights plan. Shares were up more than 75% last week after the company announced an agreement to purchase 865 Rite Aid(RAD) - Get Report stores and other assets for $950 million in cash. Fred's stock was down 0.8% to $20.03.
Seattle Genetics(SGEN) - Get Report shares were down 13.6% on Tuesday after the FDA said it was putting its drug trial for cancer on a clinical hold following the death of four patients while being treated.
Endologix(ELGX) - Get Report fell 16.1% to $6.03, when the aortic disorder treatment developer said that it will temporarily hold shipments of its AFX, one of its best selling devices, due to a size manufacturing problem.
"We believe we will be able to lift the hold on some sizes in the near future, with the timing for the remaining sizes dependent on the outcome of our investigation," John McDermott, Endologix chief executive officer, said in a statement.
Toshiba shares are down after the company reported that it will have to record a loss in the billions for its U.S. nuclear power acquisition, Reuters reported. The Japanese company has struggled with an accounting scandal and previous nuclear business losses.