Stocks march forward at open

Technology developments lift markets as trading begins.

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Stocks rose at the start of trading Thursday, with investors taking heart from developments in the tech sector.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.3%. The Nasdaq composite index gained 0.7%. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was 0.3% higher.

In the news Thursday:

Cisco Systems: Citigroup upgraded the biggest U.S. maker of computer-networking equipment to "Buy' from '"Hold." Stock (CSCO, Fortune 500)

Research in Motion: The BlackBerry maker raised its outlook for fourth-quarter subscriber additions by about 15% to 20%, citing the popularity of smartphones throughout the holiday selling season. Stock (RIMM)

Google: The company will begin storing the medical records of a few thousand people as it tests a long-awaited health service that's likely to raise more concerns about the volume of sensitive information entrusted to the Internet search leader. Stock (GOOG, Fortune 500)

J.C. Penney: The department store retailer said its fourth-quarter profit fell 10% due to a shorter quarter. Stock (JCP, Fortune 500)

British Airways: Passengers face the prospect of major disruptions after the airline's pilots voted for strike action that could effectively ground the airline worldwide. Stock (BAIRY)

Jobless claims: The number of newly laid off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, but the larger-than-expected drop was seen as only a temporary improvement. To top of page

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.