Stocks open higher, heading for quarterly gain

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Associated Press

Posted on March 31, 2014 at 8:01 AM

Updated Monday, Mar 31 at 8:01 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street as the market heads for a fifth straight quarterly gain.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 11 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,868 in the first few minutes of trading. The index is up 1.1 percent for the first quarter of the year, which ends Monday.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 114 points, or 0.7 percent, to 16,436. The Nasdaq composite rose 29 points, or 0.7 percent, to 4,185.

Johnson & Johnson rose 1 percent after the company accepted an offer of about $4 billion from the private equity firm Carlyle Group to buy its Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics business.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen is speaking this morning to community development professionals in Chicago at the National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference.

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