U.S. futures are higher as global stocks gain. U.S. futures are holding on to gains after data as markets across the globe rise. February housing starts declined more than expected, falling at an 8.6% annualized rate. Housing permits were about in line with forecasts, falling 1.6%. Later this morning markets will get a look at house prices from January and consumer confidence from March. European shares are higher with energy stocks leading the gains. Asian markets closed higher with Japan’s Nikkei 225 leading the gains after lagging on Monday. Mainland Chinese shares lagged the region closing lower by more than 1%.