NEW YORK — U.S. stocks rose in early trading Monday, even as news of North Korea ruler Kim Jong Il's death unsettled world markets.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 28, or 0.2 percent to 11,895 as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. Caterpillar Inc. was the Dow's leading stock, rising 2.2 percent. Bank of America Corp. was the laggard, losing 2 percent.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index inched up two points to 21 in December, the highest level since May 2010. That's a sign builders are less worried about the housing market, though any reading below 50 is still a sign of negative sentiment.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 1 point to 1,221. The Nasdaq composite index rose 7, or 0.3 percent, to 2,563.
Asian indexes fell as analysts warned Kim's death could cause an uncertain power transition and put the brakes on talks aimed at getting the communist country to give up its nuclear weapons.
EU finance ministers will meet Monday to decide how to split up the 200 billion euros ($261 billion) that EU leaders promised to send to the IMF at a summit 10 days ago. The money is meant to boost the Eurozone's firewall against the escalating debt crisis.
Among companies making large moves, Winn-Dixie soared 69 percent. The supermarket chain is being sold to Bi-Lo LLC, another supermarket operator with stores in the southern U.S., in a deal valued at $560 million.
Cablevision Systems Corp. rose 3 percent after an analyst from Citibank said a recent drop in the company's stock seemed "way overdone." The stock has lost 27 percent from the end of October through last Friday following the unexpected resignation of its chief operating officer.