Home builders' confidence in the U.S. rose in May, with sales expectations at the highest level in more than five years, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Homebuilders including Beazer, KBHome and Toll Brothers traded higher on the news.
In Europe, preliminary growth data showed the euro zone contracted for the sixth straight quarter in the first quarter of 2013, marking the longest recession since records began in 1995.
(Read More: France Slips Into Recession, Germany Disappoints)
German growth data was worse-than-expected with the country narrowly avoiding a recession. Meanwhile, France's economy entered a recession, contracting by 0.2 percent month-month in the first quarter.
Meanwhile, Italy's economy shrank by more-than-expected, extending the country's recession to seven straight quarters and making it the longest since records began in 1970.
"Despite some positive data signals from the euro zone, such as industrial output released in the prior session, markets have this morning had a reminder that troubles in the euro zone are far from over," said ETX market strategist Ishaq Siddiqi.
(Read More: Markets 'Glass Half Full' on Weak European GDP)