NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are edging higher in early trading after the European Central Bank said it would buy bonds to prop up the region's struggling banks. The move is expected to help prevent large losses should the Greek government default on its debt.
In the U.S., the Labor Department said new applications for unemployment benefits rose slightly last week to 401,000. That was slightly below expectations.
Apple Inc. fell 0.6 percent. Company co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs died Wednesday.
Target rose 2 percent after its September sales results beat Wall Street's expectations.
Ten minutes after the opening bell, the Dow was up 7 points, or 0.1 percent, to 10,947. The S&P 500 gained 1, or 0.1 percent, to 1,145. The Nasdaq rose 5, or 0.2 percent, to 2,466.