Indices traded into the green zone on Friday. Walmart and American Express led Dow advancers. Stocks stepped up amid a variety of economic news. Housing starts decreased to an annual rate of 1.24 million in February. The results were weaker than expected and fell shy of January’s upwardly revised 1.33 million. On another note, consumer confidence is on the upswing. In a preliminary reading for March, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index jumped to 102, marking the highest level since 2004, from February’s reading of 99.7.