US stocks open higher; E.U. finance heads to meet

NEW YORK (AP) ? U.S. stocks opened higher, even as news of North Korea ruler Kim Jong Il’s death unsettled world markets.

The Dow Jones industrial average is up 44, or 0.4 percent at 11,908. The S&P 500 index is up 3, or 0.3 percent, at 1,223. The Nasdaq is up 13, or 0.5 percent, to 2,568.

Asian indexes fell as analysts warned Kim’s death could cause an uncertain power transition and put the brakes on talks aimed at getting the communist country to give up its nuclear weapons.

EU finance ministers will meet Monday to decide how to split up the ?200 billion ($261 billion) EU leaders promised to send to the IMF at a summit 10 days ago. The money is meant to boost the eurozone’s firewall against the escalating debt crisis.