Stocks edge higher on Wall Street ahead of home sales report; S&P 500 back above 1,500

Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street ahead of what is expected to be more upbeat data on housing from the government.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 26 points at 13,851 shortly after the opening bell Friday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index edged up five points to 1,500. It traded above 1,500 Thursday for the first time since December 2007.

Homebuilders are heading into 2013 with a head of steam. The Commerce Department is expected to report that new home sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 383,000 in December. Sales rose in November to 383,000, the fastest pace in more than 2 ½ years.

Homebuilder stocks are rising in advance of the report.

Household goods makers Procter & Gamble and Kimberly-Clark posted strong earnings.