U.S. financial markets are moving higher in midday trading, with health care stocks among the biggest gainers.

Some encouraging news from Japan and Germany also helped lift markets.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index added eight points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,049 as of 11:55 a.m. Eastern time.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 40 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,688. The Nasdaq composite gained 25 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,696.

Nokia rose 4 percent after the Finnish technology company said it would introduce a tablet computer that runs the Android operating system.

Urban Outfitters sank 9 percent after its latest quarterly earnings missed analysts' forecasts.

The price of oil fell $1.21 to $74.44 a barrel in New York. That helped send energy stocks lower.