01/29/2015 09:43 EST | Updated 03/31/2015 05:59 EDT

Stock market heads higher in early trading; McDonald's stock surges after CEO steps down

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The U.S. stock market is opening slightly higher as investors digest a mix of corporate and economic news.

McDonald's stock climbed 3 per cent following news late Wednesday that its CEO is stepping down.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 42 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 17,238 shortly after the open Thursday. The Standard & Poor's 500 climbed less than one point, or 0.01 per cent, to 2,002. The Nasdaq slipped four points, less than 0.1 per cent, to 4,633.

Before the market opened, the government reported that weekly claims for unemployment benefits dropped to 15-year low last week.

Prices rose for U.S. government bonds, lifting yields up from their lows for the year. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged up to 1.75 per cent.