U.S. stocks opened slightly higher on Thursday after minutes from the Federal Reserve's October meeting hardened expectations of a December interest rate hike and data showed jobless claims fell.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 3.58 points, or 0.02 percent, to 17,740.74. The S&P 500 gained 0.57 points, or 0.03 percent, to 2,084.15 and the Nasdaq Composite index added 3.87 points, or 0.08 percent, to 5,079.07