US stocks open higher after fresh Dow record

US stocks were modestly higher in early trade Thursday after central banks in Europe, Britain, Japan and Brazil held off from further loosening already-accommodative monetary policies despite facing weak growth.

After an hour of trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 40.16 points (0.28 percent) at 14,336.40, after setting a fresh all-time closing high Wednesday at 14,296.24.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 1.74 (0.11 percent) at 1,543.20, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite rose 0.70 (0.02 percent) to 3,223.07.

US economic data came in with little surprise: the trade deficit increased in January after December's sharp fall, on a rebound in oil import costs, and weekly claims for unemployment benefits were lower and slightly better than expected.

Meanwhile, markets took the lack of new easing among major central banks, especially the European Central Bank, as signaling that monetary authorities were relatively confident in the path of their respective economies despite warnings of slower growth.

Traders of US stocks remained cautious but there were no signs yet that investors believed the market was overvalued.

"The lack of selling interest reflects concerns about missing out on further gains and getting mentally whipsawed again by the sight of the market quickly bouncing back from any type of dip," said Patrick O'Hare of

Trade was heavy in truck maker Navistar, up 20.9 percent, after reporting a narrowing of its quarterly loss and promoting former General Motors executive Troy Clarke to be chief executive.

Dell shares were off 0.3 percent as it faced a fresh challenge from raider Carl Icahn to founder Michael Dell's effort to take the computer maker private.

Boeing gained 3.2 percent even as there was little indication of when its grounded 787 Dreamliner will be flying again.

Time Warner shares added 1.3 percent after the group said it would spin off its iconic Time Inc. magazine group.

Bond prices fell further. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.97 percent from 1.94 percent late Wednesday, while the 30-year pushed to 3.17 percent from 3.15 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.