US Stocks Edge Higher Thursday

(AP) -- Stocks edged higher in morning trading on Wall Street Thursday as a streak of cautious trading continues on world markets.

The S&P 500 index rose 0.5% as of 10:20 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 189 points, or 0.6%, to 34,544 and the Nasdaq rose 0.2%.

Technology and communications stock had some of the strongest gains. Many of the companies have outsized values that tend to sway the broader market in either direction. Chipmaker Nvidia rose 3.5% and Facebook parent, Meta, rose 1.6%.

Major U.S. indexes are mixed for the week so far after alternating between gains and losses over the past few days.

Markets in Europe were mixed. Germany's DAX fell 0.2%, while France's CAC 40 fell 0.2% and Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.1%. Indexes in Asia were mostly lower.

Crude oil prices slipped after jumping a day earlier. U.S. benchmark crude oil fell 1.4% and Brent crude, the international standard, fell 1.1%. Overall, global oil prices are up more than 50% in 2022 on persistently rising inflation and concerns about crimped supplies because of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Investors around the world were watching to see the outcome of the meetings of NATO and a European leaders summit Thursday. Officials are discussing more ways to further isolate and punish Russia.

Sanctions have so far gutted the Ruble's value and prompted Russia's stock exchange to close nearly a month ago. The exchange reopened Thursday under heavy restrictions to prevent the kind of massive selloff that occurred in anticipation of crushing financial and economic sanctions from Western nations.

Wall Street is monitoring the latest developments on the conflict as it tries to determine how much it could worsen inflation and potentially crimp global economic growth. Businesses and consumers have been facing increasing costs for materials and goods which has prompted central banks to raise interest rates in order to temper the impact from inflation.

Bond yields have been rising overall as the market prepares for higher interest rates. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.36% from 2.31% late Wednesday.

Investors received an encouraging update on the labor market's continued recovery. The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits last week fell to its lowest level in 52 years. The upbeat report adds to data earlier this month that showed employers added a robust 678,000 jobs in February, the largest monthly total since July.