The Toronto stock market was higher amid rising oil prices.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index approached noon Tuesday ahead 103.69 points to 12,141.28
The Canadian dollar leaped 1.13 cents, to 101.19 cents U.S.
Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver is expected to make a formal announcement in Toronto about Ottawa's plans for speeding up the environmental review process for major projects.
CTV News reports that environmental reviews for will have firm deadlines to approve or reject proposed projects within two years. Oliver is also expected to announce a 50% increase in pipeline inspections and tougher fines for violations, ranging between $100,000 and $400,000.
On the economic beat, the best change proved to be no change for Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney, who again chose to keep the bank's trendsetting rate at 1%, where it's been since September 2010.
Elsewhere, Statistics Canada reported this morning that manufacturing sales edged down 0.3% to $49.1 billion in February, after slumping 1.3% in January. The agency also said that February new vehicle sales dipped 6.7% to 141,589 units, after a rally in January.
The TSX Venture Exchange dipped 12.20 points to 1,420.25, while the Nasdaq Canada index added 6.16 points to 407.54
All but one of the 14 Toronto subgroups approached the luncheon bell in positive country. Metals and mining stocks vied with energy issues for the top spot, each gaining 1.6%, while materials advanced 1%.
The lone naysayer was in utilities, off 0.1%.
In New York, stocks rallied Tuesday, as worries about Europe eased and the latest housing data signaled more building is in the works.
The Dow Jones Industrials rocketed 176.46 points, or 1.4%, higher to greet noon at 13,097.90.
The move higher pushed the blue-chip index back above 13,000, a key psychological milestone, for the first time in over a week.
The S&P 500 stepped up 17.72 points to 1,387.29, and the Nasdaq recovered 48.69 points to 3,037.09
Following a 9% decline over five straight down days, shares of Apple eked out modest gains.
Despite its recent pullback, Apple remains one of the top performing stocks this year, up more than 40% year-to-date. In fact, the stock has contributed more thant 15% to the S&P 500's gains this year, according to Standard and Poor's.
Tuesday's broad gains come as worries about Europe eased after the latest edition of an index based on German investor sentiment came in unexpectedly high. An auction of Spanish 12- and 18-month treasury bills also drew strong demand, said Markus Huber, a senior trader with TX Capital in the United Kingdom.
However, investors remain nervous about Spain, where bond yields rose above 6% Monday -- the highest level in several months. The Spanish government, which will auction bonds later this week, has been struggling with rising borrowing costs amid fears that it may need to be bailed out.
Spanish 10-year yields eased to 5.89% on Tuesday morning. On Thursday, the country will hold a closely watched auction of 10-year bonds.
Johnson & Johnson beat earnings expectations for the first quarter, U.S. revenue declined more than 5% during the quarter, sending shares lower. The company said sales of over-the-counter medicines were significantly impacted by the suspension of manufacturing at the McNeil Consumer Healthcare facility in Fort Washington, Pa.
Coca-Cola shares rose after the company said its first-quarter earnings rose almost 8%. While the company's profit margins continued to decline due to higher costs, Coca-Cola said is is managing by taking a number of steps, including raising prices.
U.S. Bancorp shares edged higher after the financial firm reported earnings and revenue that beat expectations.
Shares of renewable energy firm First Solar climbed, after the company announced it was reducing its global workforce by 30%.
Chesapeake Energy Corp announced Monday that its oil field services unit plans to go public as a separate company.
After the close, investors will get the latest numbers from Yahoo, IBM and Intel
Yahoo is expected to announce earnings of 17 cents U.S. per share, while IBM is expected to post earnings of $2.65 U.S. per share.
Economically speaking, before the opening bell, the U.S. Commerce Department reported that March housing starts occurred at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 654,000, below expectations and down from February's rate of 694,000.
March applications for building permits, an indication of future construction activity, came in at an annual rate of 747,000, ahead of expectations and up from February's rate of 715,000.
The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury weakened, lifting the yield to 2.00% from Monday's 1.97%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil for May delivery picked up $1.44 to $104.37 U.S. a barrel.
Gold futures for April delivery fell $12.70 to $1,635.90 U.S. an ounce.