Stocks bounced modestly higher at the open on Friday after Europe's debt crisis drove heavy market losses this week, with the S&P 500 possibly facing a key technical test of strength.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 40.98 points, or 0.35 percent, to 11,811.71. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 4.30 points, or 0.35 percent, to 1,220.43. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 3.82 points, or 0.15 percent, to 2,591.81.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)