Stocks edged up at the open on Thursday after strong bond auctions in Europe, though weaker-than-expected U.S. data limited gains.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 9.69 points, or 0.08 percent, at 12,459.14. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> added 3.44 points, or 0.27 percent, at 1,295.92. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> put on 7.49 points, or 0.28 percent, at 2,718.25.

Investors are watching if the S&P can hold above its five-month highs after rising in six of the year's first seven sessions. It closed at 1,292.48 on Wednesday and faces technical resistance near the 1,300 level.

(Reporting By Angela Moon; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)