Overnight: US stocks traded close to their highs of their session, unfazed by a nearly one-hour trading halt on the Nasdaq Composite Index, as results from Pfizer and an IBM buyback stoked momentum. Treasury prices moved higher after a lackluster auction of 5-year notes, as investors focused on expectations that the Federal Reserve would hold its easy money policies steady. Gold futures fell below $1,350 an ounce. BP led UK stocks higher after announcing a series of ways to return money to investors, while a rise in mortgage approvals fed fears of an overheated housing market. European stock markets moved higher, supported by encouraging earnings reports from prominent firms such as BP and Nokia. London BHP up 0.23%. Rio up 0.03%. New York BHP down 0.58%. Rio down 0.69% LME Base metals traded mixed.