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AP News

Retailers lift US stocks in early trading

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock markets are opening higher after a pair of big retail names reported better-than-expected earnings.

Luxury retailer Tiffany and restaurant owner Darden posted profits that beat Wall Street forecasts on Friday.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 52 points, or 0.4 percent, to 14,474 shortly after the opening bell.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up six points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,552. The Nasdaq composite rose 14 points, also 0.4 percent, to 3,236.

Tiffany's fourth-quarter profit edged up less than 1 percent, but still beat Wall Street predictions as strong customer demand in Asia for its pricey baubles offset weakness in the U.S.

Darden's third-quarter earnings topped expectations, too. Its revenue rose because it opened new restaurants for Yard House, The Capital Grille and Bahama Breeze.

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