Stocks shrug off rout

U.S. stocks open higher as investors seek bargains after Tuesday's 280-point drop, look for Fed rate cut.

NEW YORK ( -- U.S. stocks rose sharply at Wednesday's open as investors regained their composure a day after the Dow Jones industrial average fell 280 points on renewed economic fears.

The Dow industrials, The Nasdaq composite index and the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose in early trading.

The calm start follows Tuesday's big selloff, when another weak housing report, coupled with a big drop in consumer confidence and worries expressed at the Federal Reserve's last meeting, sparked a 280 point-drop in the Dow.

Investors will get a break Wednesday from the deluge of economic data, with the government's weekly report on crude inventories the only major release on tap.

Oil prices rose 67 cents to $72.40 a barrel in electronic trading.

Companies in the news Wednesday include State Street (Charts, Fortune 500), Daimler (Charts), Altria (Charts, Fortune 500), Tenet Healthcare (Charts, Fortune 500), Nokia (Charts). Top of page