US stocks choppy as worries turn to Italy

NEW YORK (AP) ? Stocks are edging higher in choppy trading as investor turn their attention toward Italy and whether it could become the next European country to become crippled by debt.

Italy’s borrowing rates spiked Monday to the highest level since the country adopted the euro. Unlike Greece, Portugal or Ireland, Italy has too much debt to be rescued by an international bailout. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi rejected suggestions that he resign to make way for more austerity measures.

Monday is a quiet day for economic and corporate earnings reports in the U.S.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 17 points, or 0.1 percent, to 12,001 five minutes after the market opened. The S&P 500 gained 3 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,256. The Nasdaq rose 3, or 0.1 percent, to 2,689.