NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Stocks rose early Thursday as investors returned to rally mode, focusing on positive comments out of IBM's CEO, as well as drop in weekly jobless claims and producer prices.
At around 9:35 a.m. ET, all three indexes rose with the Nasdaq composite (up 13.99 to 1548.89, Charts) a little higher than the Dow Jones industrial average (up 61.61 to 8709.43, Charts) and the Standard & Poor's 500 (up 6.83 to 946.11, Charts) index.
April producer prices showed the biggest drop on record, falling 1.9 percent after rising 1.5 percent in March. Economists surveyed by Reuters expected PPI, which measures inflation before it reaches consumers, to fall 0.6 percent.
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment last week fell to 417,000 from a revised 430,000 the previous week. While this was better than the 425,000 reading that economists surveyed by Reuters had expected, it was still above 400,000, a level considered by economists to be representative of a shrinking labor market.
Corporate news surrounded a couple of big-cap technology stocks. IBM (IBM: up $1.12 to $89.82, Research, Estimates)'s CEO said demand for technology has stabilized as compared to a year ago, reassuring investors worried about the prolonged slowdown in information technology spending. Shares rose 1 percent at the open.
Meanwhile, Dell (DELL: up $0.39 to $32.64, Research, Estimates) gained 1 percent ahead of its quarterly earnings report, due out after the bell. (For more details on Dell's earnings, click here.)
In global trade, European shares edged higher at midday, while Asian stocks ended mixed.
Treasury bond prices were mixed. The yield on the 10-year note went up to 3.57 percent, as its price lost 13/32 of a point. The dollar gained a little versus the euro but fell against the Japanese yen.
Brent crude oil futures added 2 cents a barrel to $26.22 in London. Gold rose $1.90 to $354.40.