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Stocks open higher after six days of declines

In this Friday, Aug. 16, 2013 photo, trader Jonathan Niles works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Encouraging news from Europe and China is sending U.S. stock futures higher, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, despite another round of bleak earnings reports from domestic retailers. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Encouraging news from Europe and China sent the stock market higher in early trading despite another batch of bleak earnings from retailers.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 36 points, or 0.2 percent, to 14,933 shortly after the market opened Thursday.

The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed nine points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,651. The Nasdaq composite gained 29 points, or 0.8 percent, to 3,628.

China's manufacturing slowdown stabilized in August, a survey showed.

In Europe, a report showed that the manufacturing and services are improving.

Stocks of U.S. retail chains are falling after more weak sales reports.

Abercrombie & Fitch plunged $9.63, or 21 percent, to $37.26.

Hewlett-Packard fell $2.43, or 10 percent, to $22.95 after the company reported poor demand for personal computers.