U.S. stocks opened modestly higher on Thursday, putting the Dow on track for a sixth straight day of gains, although trading was expected to be light following the Christmas holiday.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 47.26 points, or 0.29 percent, at 16,404.81. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 3.97 points, or 0.22 percent, at 1,837.29. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 9.94 points, or 0.24 percent, at 4,165.35.