U.S. stocks are edging higher in relatively quiet trading the day after Christmas.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 47 points, or 0.2 percent, to 18,078 as of 11:45 a.m. Friday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose eight points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,090. The Nasdaq composite rose 27 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,800.

Utilities and health care stocks had the biggest gains. Pfizer rose the most of the 30 stocks in the Dow.

Falling oil and natural gas prices helped bolster expectations for stronger consumer spending heading into next year.

European markets were closed. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index rose 0.1 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 2.8 percent.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.26 percent.