U.S. stocks are opening slightly higher as traders get ready for the start of company earnings reports.

Metals maker Alcoa will release its first-quarter results after the closing bell Wednesday. In early trading the stock was up 2 percent.

Later Wednesday the Federal Reserve will release minutes from its latest policy meeting.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 50 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,927 as of 9:35 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index increased five points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,081. The Nasdaq composite rose 18 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,929.

The price of oil fell 2.5 percent to $52.66 a barrel in New York.

Bond prices didn't move much. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 1.89 percent.