NEW YORK — U.S. stocks rose slightly in early trading Wednesday, stabilizing after three days of losses on Wall Street. Investors continue to focus on Europe's economic malaise and tensions in the Middle East after the U.S. and Arab nations attacked the Islamic State group's headquarters in Syria.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 10 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,066 as of 9:55 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose a point to 1,984 and the Nasdaq composite rose 10 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,519.
The slight gains come after the S&P 500 fell for three days in a row. The Dow had two straight days of triple-digit declines, which hasn't happened since June.
HOME IMPROVEMENT: Bed Bath & Beyond rose $3.85, or 6.1 percent, to $66.50 after the home furnishings company after reporting quarterly results well above analysts' expectations.
EUROPE STAGNATES: The Ifo business confidence index in Germany, Europe's largest economy, dropped for a fifth month in September. The decline was larger than investors had expected and confirmed that Europe's economy remains weak. The day before, a closely watched business gauge for the region fell to a nine-month low. The eurozone's economy has been flat or barely growing since April, hobbled by the lingering effects of a debt crisis, uncertainty over a conflict in Ukraine and a lack of confidence among consumers, businesses and banks.
European stock indexes were mixed. Germany's DAX was flat, while France's CAC 40 rose 0.5 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 edged up 0.1 percent.
SYRIA: Along with bad economic news, investors had geopolitical concerns to worry about. The U.S. and five Arab nations attacked the Islamic State group's headquarters in eastern Syria in nighttime raids Tuesday. U.S. aircraft as well as Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from Navy ships in the Red Sea and the northern Persian Gulf were used. "Geopolitical risk, which has been simmering in the background, is back to the fore" said CMC analyst Desmond Chua.
CURRENCIES, ENERGY AND BONDS: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 31 cents to $91.24 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The euro slid to $1.2829 from $1.2841 late Tuesday. The dollar dropped to 108.63 yen from 108.80 yen. U.S. government bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.53 percent.