United States inched slightly higher at the close of trade, pulling back from more substantial earlier gains after flirting with record highs on the back of a positive sign for the housing market.
Stocks had opened cautiously ahead of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's testimony in Congress tomorrow, but added ground on a report showing new home sales were at their highest level in six years in January.
At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 18.75 points, or 0.12%, at 16,198.41.
The broader S&P 500 added 0.04 of a point to 1,845.46, falling just short of the highest close for the S&P 500, recorded on January 15 this year, at a level of 1848.38.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rallied 4.48 points, or 0.10%, to 4,292.06.
Adding to the bullish tone was strong earning reports from two leading retailers and the world's largest brewer.
Department store Target and hardware retailer Lowe's both surged over 6% on earnings guidance, while AB InBev lifted 2.5% as its profit topped analyst expectations.