U.S. stocks made slight gains in Thursday's early trading. Investors were encouraged by a strong report on retail sales, but disappointed by less-than-expected results from Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average moved up two points to hit 10,303. The S & P 500 gained one point at 1,172, and the NASDAQ gained five points to reach 1,976.
European share prices are higher in midday trading. London's Financial Times index, the CAC-40 in Paris, and the DAX index in Frankfurt all gained six-tenths of a percent or more.
Earlier in Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei index lost 43 points to finish at 11,078. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index moved up 28 points to close at 13,968.
The price of gold is down more than two dollars, trading at 425 dollars and 17 cents an ounce.
The dollar is up against the yen and the euro in New York trading.