US stocks open higher a day after big loss

January 14, 2014
FILE - In this Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, file photo, specialist Anthony Rinaldi, center, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Investors are hoping Wall Street will have a better day on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, following the market's worst day of the year so far. Stocks dropped Monday as falling oil prices pushed down energy stocks. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rose in early trading on Wall Street Tuesday, rebounding after their biggest drop in two months a day earlier. The gains were led by technology stocks. If the Dow Jones industrial average ends the day higher, it will be only its third gain of the year.

RETAIL SALES: Americans spent more on clothing and online in December, but they cut back almost everywhere else, ending the holiday shopping season on a lackluster note. Retail sales rose 0.2 percent last month, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That follows strong gains in October and November, helped by brisk auto sales.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed seven points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,826 in the first hour of trading. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 41 points, or 0.3 percent, to 16,294. The Nasdaq composite rose 23 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,136.

CABLE BUY: Time Warner Cable rose $3.10, or 2.3 percent, to $135.50 after Charter Communications intensified its pursuit of the company. Charter said Monday it would bring an offer directly to shareholders if needed after getting rebuffed by Time Warner Cable's management.

BANK EARNINGS: Investors were watching results from two big banks. JPMorgan Chase, the nation's biggest bank by assets, rose 23 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $57.86 after reporting gains in most of its divisions except for investment banking.

Wells Fargo fell 31 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $45.28. The nation's biggest mortgage lender reported a sharp drop in its mortgage business even as its bottom-line income rose 11 percent.

SURGING SURGERY: Intuitive Surgical jumped $36, or 9.2 percent, to $135.50 after the company said it will report revenue in the fourth quarter that is higher than Wall Street analysts are forecasting, as procedures performed with its robotic da Vinci system increased.

TREASURYS AND COMMODITIES: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.85 percent from 2.83 percent on Monday. The price of oil rose 71 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $92.52. Gold was little changed from Monday at $1,251 an ounce.