Stocks opened higher on Friday as a recent batch of improving economic data lured investors back into equities for a second day.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 39.60 points, or 0.46 percent, to 8,595.20. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 6.69 points, or 0.73 percent, to 925.06. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 19.27 points, or 1.07 percent, to 1,826.99.