US Stocks Open Higher Thursday

(AP) -- Technology stocks were pushing the broader market higher on Thursday, as investors welcomed another reprieve from the volatility in the bond market that has dominated the conversation on Wall Street for the last several weeks.

The S&P 500 index rose 0.7% as of 9:55 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4% and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite was up 1.6%.

Big Tech stocks, which have been hurt this year by rising bond rates, were among the biggest gainers. Apple was up more than 2%, Microsoft rose 1.5% and Google's parent company Alphabet was up more than 1%.

The recent return of stability to the bond market has been reassuring investors after a sudden spike in long-term interest rates over the past month prompted traders to dump tech shares, which started to look expensive after months of gigantic gains.

Up until this week, bond yields have been steadily climbing higher as investors made big bets that trillions of dollars of coming government stimulus will result in strong economic growth later this year and potentially some amount of inflation. As of Thursday morning, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note was 1.53%, roughly where it has been all week. That yield struck the psychologically important 1.60% mark late last week.

The House approved the sweeping pandemic relief package over Republican opposition on Wednesday, sending it to President Joe Biden to be signed into law. The package would provide $1,400 checks for most Americans and direct billions of dollars to schools, state and local governments, and businesses.

General Electric fell 7%, after falling sharply the day before. The industrial titan announced it would wind down its GE Capital business and merge its jet leasing business with Ireland's AerCap. GE is in the midst of a multi-year turnaround plan, but investors have been concerned GE has been selling off too many of its more profitable assets.