U.S. equity benchmarks on Thursday rose modestly at the open, as the main gauges sought to rebound from the prior session's decline on the back of a batch of quarterly reports from retailers. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 43 points, or 0.2%, at 21,856, the S&P 500 index climbed 0.2% at 2,448, while the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.3% at 6,296. The action sets up the S&P 500, and the Dow to halt two consecutive weekly declines, while the the Nasdaq is on pace to end four straight weeks in the red. The Dow and S&P 500 are looking weekly gains of at least 0.6%, while the Nasdaq is primed for a weekly return of at least 1%. Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank's symposium, titled "Fostering a Dynamic Global Economy," is ready to begin on Thursday, featuring important speeches from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, who are scheduled to speak on Friday, potentially setting the tone for global markets for the rest of the year. The 10-year Treasury note was yielding 2.19%, while a measure of the U.S. dollar, the ICE U.S. Dollar Index , was up 0.1% at 93.27. In corporate news, retailers were having a strong early showing on better-than-expected quarterly results. Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. were climbing as were stocks of Signet Jewelers Ltd. , Guess , and private-equity owned Sears Holdings Corp. . Looking ahead, traders are awaiting a report on existing home sales in July, with a decline to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.50 million expected.
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