NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks opened sharply higher this morning after a government report confirmed that inflation remains under control despite the robust U.S. economy.

In the first hour of trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 137.44 to 11,719.87, as the blue chip index moved into record territory.

The Nasdaq composite index also moved into record territory, rising 106.25 to 4,063.86. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 21.20 to 1,470.88.

The government said today consumer prices rose by 0.2 percent in December, slightly below forecasts. Excluding energy prices, the gain was just 0.1 percent. The report was the latest signal the inflation fears remain unfounded.

Meanwhile, a speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan on Thursday night contained no great surprises, and Wall Street is now feeling more comfortable that a hike of no more than a quarter-percentage point on Feb. 2 is a likely outcome of the next Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 5-to-3 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 1161.6 million shares.

The Russell 2000 index rose 5.17 to 506.36.

Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average rose 0.7 percent. In afternoon trading, Germany's DAX index was up 2.6 percent, Britain's FT-SE 100 was up 1.8 percent, and France's CAC-40 was up 2.5 percent.