Stocks open higher ahead of talks on Greek debt

NEW YORK (AP) ? Stocks are opening higher ahead of a meeting on Greece’s debt troubles.

The leaders of France, Germany and Greece are scheduled to meet later Wednesday to discuss ways to contain the debt crisis that has roiled financial markets for months.

The Dow Jones industrial average is up 69 points, or 0.6 percent, to 11,168 shortly after the opening bell. The S&P 500 index is up 4, or 0.4 percent, to 1,177. The Nasdaq is up 17, or 0.6 percent, to 2,549.

Stocks opened higher even after the government said retail sales were flat in August. People spent less on autos, clothing and furniture as fears mounted that the U.S. was slipping into a recession and the stock market took a steep fall. Economists had expected sales to rise slightly.