Stocks edged slightly higher in early trading after the U.S. Labor Department reported a decrease in first-time unemployment claims last week.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 8 points, or 0.1%, to 12,797 shortly after the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange.
The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 2 points, or 0.2%, to 1,390. The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 10 points, or 0.3%, to 2,927.
The U.S. Labor Department said initial jobless claims declined by 41,000 to 410,000 last week, compared to the previous week. The federal government's report showed the labor market indicators were still skewed by Superstorm Sandy.