Stocks open higher on better manufacturing report

Associated Press
FILE - In this Tuesday, March 25, 2014, file photo, trader Greg Mulligan, center, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. World stock markets gained Wednesday as investors anticipated further stimulus measures from Europe and China while U.S. economic data reinforced recovery hopes in the world's largest economy. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
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FILE - In this Tuesday, March 25, 2014, file photo, trader Greg Mulligan, center, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. World stock markets gained Wednesday as investors anticipated further stimulus measures from Europe and China while U.S. economic data reinforced recovery hopes in the world's largest economy. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street as investors respond to an encouraging sign on U.S. manufacturing.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose nine points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,875 in the first few minutes of trading Wednesday. That's about three points below the latest all-time high for the index set on March 7.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 79 points, or 0.5 percent, to 16,445. The Nasdaq composite rose 25 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,259.

Traders were encouraged by news that orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods rose in February by the largest amount since November. That followed a drop in January.

Discount retailer Five Below shot up 15 percent after reporting that its income beat analysts' expectations in the latest quarter.

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