Stocks edged higher in early trading Thursday after a sharp sell-off in the wake of President Obama's reelection.
The Dow Jones industrial average added 28 points, or 0.2%, to 12,961 shortly after the opening bell. The Dow dropped more than 300 points Wednesday.
The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 3 points, or 0.2%, to 1,398. The Nasdaq was up 9 points, or 0.3%, to 2,946.
Investors digested better-than-expected economic data Thursday that show declines in weekly jobless claims and the U.S. trade deficit.
In Europe, the European Central Bank kept interest rates unchanged. Spain, one of the most deeply indebted countries in the Eurozone, reportedly held a successful bond auction.