NEW YORK – U.S. stocks are edging higher in early trading Thursday as investors were encouraged by a report showing a strong rise in consumer spending. European markets were mostly lower as talks to keep Greece solvent stumbled.
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KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 16 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,981 as of 10:08 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose a point, or 0.1 percent, to 2,110 and the Nasdaq composite rose eight points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,131.
GREEK DOUBT: Crucial talks between Greece and its international creditors ended without result early Thursday, casting fresh doubt over the country's future in the euro and piling new pressure on negotiators to reach a deal later in the day. After an eight-hour grilling with the leaders of the three main institutions handling his country's massive debts, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras left the talks in Brussels without speaking to reporters. Finance ministers were holding another meeting and would discuss new proposals on the reforms Greece should make to get more loans. France's CAC 40 and the FTSE 100 in Britain each fell 0.4 percent. Germany's DAX was off 0.2 percent.
US CONSUMER: Market sentiment was shored up by evidence that U.S. consumers are confident enough to spend at the highest rate in nearly six years. Consumer spending rose 0.9 percent in May, an indication that solid hiring and cheaper gas are giving a boost to the world's largest economy.
BREAKING UP: IAC/InterActiveCorp rose $3.03, or 4 percent, to $80.29 after the company said it would spin off its Match.com group in to a separately traded company. Match.com includes its namesake website, OKCupid and the mobile dating app Tinder.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude for August delivery was down 46 cents to $59.81 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 74 cents to close at $60.27 a barrel on Wednesday after the Energy Department reported an increase in stockpiles of gasoline and diesel in its weekly inventory report.
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BONDS AND CURRENCIES: U.S. government bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.40 percent from 2.37 percent the day before. The euro edged down to $1.1189 and the dollar weakened to 123.64 Japanese yen.