Stocks turn higher on strong job openings

NEW YORK (AP) ? Stocks are recovering from early losses Tuesday as investors turned their focus to positive news about U.S. job openings, the latest signs that the economy is recovering.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 28 points to 12,873 shortly after 11 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor’s 500 gained a point to 1,345. The Nasdaq composite rose 4 points to 2,906.

The indexes turned higher in mid-morning after the government reported that the number of available jobs in the United States jumped in December to near a three-year high. Job openings in the private sector reached their highest point in almost three and a half years.

It was the latest sign that the job market was improving. Stocks soared Friday after the government reported that the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent as employers added more jobs in January.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose sharply to 1.98 percent, from 1.90 percent late Monday, as investors moved money out of low-risk assets. The higher yield is also a sign that investors expect that inflation could pick up as the economy continues to improve.

Earlier in the day, stocks lost ground in reaction to more troublesome news in Greece, where talks dragged on over terms of new spending cuts.

Investors are monitoring talks in Athens over new cost-cutting measures being demanded by Greece’s lenders. They’re worried that the measures may not get passed in time to release the latest installment of emergency loans for the struggling country.

In the U.S., these stocks were among those making big moves:

? Yum Brands, which owns Taco Bell and KFC, jumped 3 percent. The company’s income surged 30 percent in the fourth quarter on strong growth overseas and a turnaround in its Pizza Hut business in the U.S.

? Emerson Electric Co. lost 2 percent after the manufacturing and technology company said its first-quarter net income fell 23 percent as costs rose and sales took a hit from flooding in Thailand.

? Becton, Dickinson & Co., a medical technology company, fell 4 percent. The company’s income fell 17 percent in the latest quarter on higher costs for raw materials and other expenses. The company also cut its 2012 earnings forecast.