U.S. Stocks Open With Tepid Gains, As The 1st Trading Day In April Gets Under Way

By Mark DeCambre Markets MarketWatch Pulse

U.S. stocks on Monday kicked off trade slightly higher, with investors set to take cues from a handful of economic indicators and Federal Reserve officials due to speak later. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ticked 27 points, or 0.1%, higher at 20,687, the S&P 500 index was flat at 2,360, while the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 7 points, or 0.1%, at 5,915. In corporate news, shares of Tesla Inc. climbed, with shares on track to begin trade at a seven-week high, after the electric-car maker beat expectations with 25,000 deliveries in the first quarter. Looking ahead, New York Fed President William Dudley is scheduled to speak at an economic press briefing on household borrowing, student debt and homeownership at 10:30 a.m. Eastern. Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker will speak on financial technology at the University of Pennsylvania at 3 p.m. Eastern. Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker is scheduled to speak on the Wall Street concept of "too big to fail" at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Va., at 5 p.m. Eastern. In economic news, the Markit manufacturing purchasing managers index for March is due for release at 9:45 a.m. Eastern, followed by the Institute for Supply Management manufacturing gauge for March and construction spending for February, both at 10 a.m. Eastern. Motor vehicle sales for March also be released throughout the session.

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