At the same time, the Federal Housing Finance Agency will issue its housing price index for December. The Energy Information Agency will give its weekly read on energy inventories a day late, at 11 a.m., since U.S. markets were closed on Monday for a holiday. Analysts expect crude oil inventories to increase by 1.4 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 18, according to a Platts survey. Late Wednesday, the American Petroleum Institute said oil supplies gained 163,000 barrels. Elsewhere in commodity markets, the April gold contract was higher by $4.50 to trade at $1,418.50 an ounce. The benchmark 10-year Treasury rose 14/32, diluting the yield to 3.433%. The dollar weakened against a basket of currencies with the dollar index down by 0.3%. . --Written by Melinda Peer in New York.