Falling home prices had been one of the pivotal factors driving down consumer spending during the recession. On Tuesday, a report from CoreLogic, provided more evidence of a solid rebound in real estate prices.
Home prices rose 8.3 percent in December compared with a year earlier, according to the real estate data provider. That is the biggest annual gain since May 2006. Prices rose last year in 46 of 50 states.
Futures were already gaining before the housing report, with some hints that Europe's economy may be stabilizing.
A survey of the manufacturing and services sector for the European Union shows that activity rose to a 10-month high January.
While the numbers likely indicate that overall economy was still contracting, there is also evidence that a recovery may be taking root.
Germany's DAX stock index rose 0.2 percent at 7,653 while France's CAC 40 added on 1.1 percent higher to 3,699. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.6 percent to 6,282.
Spanish and Italian indexes, which had led markets around the world sharply lower on Monday due to political concerns, led the recovery. Madrid's IBEX rose 1.5 percent while the FTSE MIB in Milan gained 1.1 percent.