The US bourse is set to open higher as European leaders get ready to meet.

New York - US stocks were slightly higher in early trade Wednesday, a day after the markets opened the second half of the year with fresh records.

Thirty minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 14.77 points (0.09 percent) to 16,970.85.

The S&P 500 added 1.29 (0.07 percent) at 1,974.61, and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite rose 6.88 (0.15 percent) to 4,465.53.

Strong numbers for job creation in June from the ADP payrolls company helped push bond yields higher, perhaps a factor in the slow opening.

Reporting one day before the official government data on the jobs market in June, ADP said the private sector added 281,000 jobs in June, much higher than May's 179,000.

“The bump in rates could be acting as a headwind of sorts for the equity market,” said Patrick O'Hare of

JPMorgan Chase sank 1.0 percent on the news that chief executive Jamie Dimon has throat cancer.

Dimon said the cancer is treatable, and that he would be able to be actively involved in managing the bank.

“The good news is that the prognosis from my doctors is excellent, the cancer was caught quickly, and my condition is curable,” Dimon, 58, said in a letter to employees and shareholders.

Bank of America meanwhile gained 2.2 percent, helped by an upgrade from analysts at Deutsche Bank.

Citigroup rose 1.0 percent in its wake.

Among tech shares, Amazon had a 1.0 percent rise, and retail giant Wal-Mart was also active with a 0.7 percent gain.

Bond prices fell.

The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.60 percent from 2.56 percent Tuesday, while the 30-year advanced to 3.44 percent from 3.39 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely. - Sapa-AFP