NEW YORK (AP) _ Stock prices have started narrowly higher on Wall Street.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is ahead seven points. Gainers outnumber losers by nearly three to two on the New York Stock Exchange.

The Nasdaq Composite Index is down by a fraction and the Standard and Poor's 500 Stock Index rises one point.

After having spent much of the past few weeks focusing largely on the war in Iraq, stocks finished lower yesterday as investors began to fret about the start of the corporate earnings season.

Investors received some positive earnings news after Wednesday's closing bell as Yahoo! topped analysts' estimates for revenues and profits. The company also raised its revenue forecast for the rest of the year.

Major retailers are releasing March sales figures. Many have reported sales declines from a year ago, although Gap says sales rose nine percent. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department released better-than-expected economic figures, saying the trade deficit narrowed 2.2 percent in February. Also, new claims for jobless benefits were sharply lower last week.