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

New York - Wall Street stocks Wednesday opened higher despite a lacklustre US retail sales report and some disappointing earnings announcements.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 50.42 points (0.30 percent) to 16,610.96.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 8.38 (0.43 percent) to 1,942.13, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 19.50 (0.44 percent) to 4,408.75.

US retail sales were virtually unchanged in July from the prior month and excluding the automobile sector, edged up just 0.1 percent, the Commerce Department said.

The report was weaker than analysts expected and highlighted the fragile economy where wage growth is minimal and unemployment, though easing, remains high.

On the earnings front, Deere dropped 0.9 percent after the agricultural-equipment maker projected a six percent decline in sales for 2014.

Retailer Macy's fell 4.7 percent as it trimmed its 2014 forecast for comparable sales growth to 1.5-2.0 percent from the prior range of 2.5-3.0 percent.

The company cited the continued drag from slow sales in the first quarter due to frigid weather that depressed activity. - Sapa-AFP