Stock prices are solidly higher as Wall Street looks ahead to the closing bell. The Dow is up more than 100 points.
- Housing starts fell 5 percent last month, providing a fresh indication of the troubles builders are experiencing. At the same time, building permits, a gauge of future construction, rose 3.2 percent.
- Greece's finance minister is taking part in a new round of talks with international debt inspectors. At issue are reforms the debt-crippled country must implement to keep receiving rescue loans.
- The union says a new four-year contract between the United Auto Workers and General Motors will add or keep 6,400 jobs in the U.S. Union leaders from around the country were briefed on the deal in Detroit and voted to recommend that GM's 48,500 factory workers ratify it.
- Google says it's opened up its Google Plus social network to everyone after testing it for 12 weeks. Google Plus is the online search leader's attempt to compete with Facebook.