Stocks edge higher in early trading

Stocks edge higher in early trading; Dollar surges on earnings

Associated Press
Dow closes at highest level of year, nears record
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FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 file photo, trader Eric Schumacher works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, in New York. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 led Asian stocks higher Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, and investors appeared to have shrugged off an apparent nuclear test by North Korea. In the United States, on Tuesday, traders will be watching as the Labor Department releases the job openings and labor turnover survey for December and the Treasury releases the federal budget for January. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Stocks edged higher in early trading on Wall Street, boosted by gains for discount retailers, after Dollar Tree posted strong earnings.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 30 points, or 0.2 percent, to 13,929. The Standard and Poor's 500 gained 3 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,500. The Nasdaq composite fell seven points, or 0.2 percent, to 3,136.

Discount retailer Dollar Tree Inc. rose $4.50 to $45.57 after it said its net income increased nearly 22 percent in the fiscal fourth quarter as consumers spent more at its stores. Dollar General and Family Dollar Stores also advanced.

Orders for U.S. factory goods that signal business investment plans jumped last month by the most in more than a year, suggesting that companies are confident about their business prospects.

The Commerce Department said orders for so-called core capital goods, which include machinery, equipment and software, rose 6.3 percent in January from December. However, a sharp drop in demand for commercial aircraft caused overall durable goods orders to drop 5.2 percent, the first decline since August.

Stocks bounced back Tuesday after logging heavy losses at the start of the week.

Both the Dow and the S&P logged their biggest losses in more than three months Monday on concern about Europe after elections in Italy left the country with political gridlock.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to its price, fell 2 basis points to 1.86 percent.

Among other stocks making big moves;

— Priceline.com, a Travel website operator, gained $26.45 to $704.60 after it said late Tuesday that its net income jumped in the fourth quarter as bookings grew.

— First Solar plunged $4.31 to $27.02 after the company posted disappointing sales for the fourth-quarter and offered a weak early outlook for the year.

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