NEW YORK - Wall Street shares opened with modest gains Thursday as investors paused after two days of heavy selling linked to fresh worries about troubles in the banking sector.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 20.43 points (0.17 percent) to 12,049.49 and the Nasdaq composite edged up 2.75 points (0.11 percent) to 2,432.46 in the first exchanges.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index added 2.46 points (0.18 percent) to 1,340.27.
Investors showed little reaction to data showing a modest decline in weekly jobless claims.
In focus was the finance sector amid fresh troubles for big regional banks and mixed earnings reports from Wall Street investment banks.
Bob Dickey at RBC Dain Rauscher said "bearish opinion has spiked up this week, as we are hearing from many investors and advisors who believe it is certain that the market needs to correct further -- in some opinions, much further."
"The roar is almost enough to convince us that it’s true, but instead we are sticking to our contrarian guns and expecting a successful test of the lows once again and are not expecting a major decline from here."