Stocks open higher; investors seek Fed clarity

Associated Press + More

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market opened slightly higher as investors sought more clarity on the direction of Federal Reserve policy.

They may get that Friday after a handful of Fed officials speak.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 11 points to 15,647 in early trading Friday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index edged up two points to 1,724. The Nasdaq composite rose seven points to 3,797.

The central bank this week shocked markets by leaving in place an $85 billion bond-buying program. Most economists had expected the Fed to begin trimming its buying with the economy improving.

The Kansas City Fed president will give a speech, and so will the St. Louis Fed president.

Darden Restaurants fell $1.73, or 3 percent, to $47.57 after the company reported sharply lower quarterly profit.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.