Created on Tuesday, 24 December 2013 Written by KEN SWEET, AP Markets Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks opened slightly higher on Wall Street Tuesday, helped by a report that showed American companies were investing in their businesses at the fastest pace since January.
Trading was quiet ahead of the Christmas holiday. U.S. markets will close early on Tuesday and will remain closed on Wednesday.
Bond prices fell on the latest positive indicator on the U.S. economy. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, a benchmark for many kinds of loans including home mortgages, edged up closer to 3 percent.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 35 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,331 in the first 30 minutes of trading. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose two points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,830 and the Nasdaq composite rose less than a point to 4,150.
TESLA BOOST: Tesla Motors jumped $10.86, or 7.5 percent, to $154.30. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration kept its 5-star safety rating on the company's Model S sedan, despite recent reports of battery-related fires. There have been no reported injuries or deaths related to any Tesla car fires.
MORE GOOD NEWS ON THE ECONOMY: The Commerce Department said orders for long-lasting manufactured products rose 3.5 percent in November, more than economists were expecting. It was the latest sign of improvement in the U.S. economy. Core capital goods, a category that tracks business investment, jumped 4.5 percent, the biggest gain since January.
BOND YIELDS: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.97 percent from 2.93 percent the day before. Treasury yields have been climbing steadily since last Wednesday, when the Federal Reserve said it would start pulling back on its bond-buying program next month. The purchases have been aimed at keeping long-term interest rates low to encourage borrowing and hiring.
TARGET WOES CONTINUE: Target fell 54 cents, or 1 percent, to $61.35 after the company said Monday night that the U.S. Justice Department is investigating the credit and debit card security breach at the company. Target revealed last week that data connected to about 40 million credit and debit card accounts were stolen between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15. Target executives have been meeting with state attorneys general to discuss the breach.
EARLY CLOSE: The New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market will close at 1 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday. The exchanges will also be closed on Christmas Day and will reopen for a full day of trading on Thursday.