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Stocks edge higher after Wednesday's drop

Trader Timothy Nick, center, works with Geoffrey Friedman, right, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, April 4, 2013. Stocks are notching small gains in early trading after the U.S. government reported that the number of people applying for unemployment benefits rose to the highest level since late November. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are mostly higher in midday trading on Wall Street, making up some of their losses from the day before.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 12 points to 14,561 at midday Thursday. It fell 111 points Wednesday, its worst drop in more than a month.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose two points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,559. The Nasdaq composite was down four points at 3,214.

The gains were led by safer industry groups. Telecommunications and utilities led the gains for the S&P 500.

Japanese stocks jumped and the yen sank after the country's central bank announced aggressive measures for stimulating the world's third-largest economy by increasing its money supply.

U.S.-listed stocks of Japanese companies rose, including Toyota, Honda and Sony.