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U.S. stocks moderately higher in subdued trade; Dow Jones up 0.06%

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Shutterstock photo - U.S. stocks opened moderately higher on Tuesday, as sentiment remained globally supported by the Bank of Japan's new monetary stimulus program, while investors eyed upcoming earnings reports.

During early U.S. trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.06%, the S&P 500 index inched 0.02% higher, while the Nasdaq Composite index added 0.11%.

The BoJ conducted its first government bond purchasing operation on Monday, purchasing JPY1.2 trillion of Japanese government bonds maturing in five years or more.

Sentiment also improved as official data showed that the annual rate of Chinese consumer inflation eased to 2.1% in March from 3.2% in February and below forecasts for 2.4%.

The data eased market concerns over further policy tightening by the Chinese government.

Among earnings, Alcoa jumped 1.20% after the U.S. aluminum group posted a better-than-expected first-quarter profit on Monday evening, but said revenue slightly missed estimates.

In the energy sector, Brazil's oil regulator, the ANP, said on Monday that it authorized Chevron to restart output from an offshore oil field more than a year after a November 2011 spill forced U.S. oil giant to stop Brazilian production.

The news sent shares in Chevron up 0.25% at the open of the U.S. trading session.

Exxon Mobil added to gains, edging up 0.17%, even as Bloomberg reported that the company will have to pay New Hampshire USD236 million in damages for contaminating its drinking water with the gasoline additive MTBE.

Meanwhile, financial stocks were broadly higher, as shares in JP Morgan rose 0.39% and Goldman Sachs advanced 0.57%, while Bank of America climbed 0.57% and Citigroup gained 0.64%.

On the downside, J.C. Penney plummeted 7.12% after parting ways with Chief Executive Ron Johnson and rehired Johnson's predecessor, former CEO Myron Ullman, to revive the company, sending shares down 5.10% in early trading.

Elsewhere, Disney saw shares slip 0.29% as it was said to be preparing to lay off 150 people this week. The job cuts will be mostly in home entertainment, as the company adjusts to declines in DVD sales.

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were mixed. The EURO STOXX 50 added 0.13%, France's CAC 40 inched up 0.01%, Germany's DAX slipped 0.28%, while Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.28%.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index climbed 0.7%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index was flat.

Trade looked likely to remain subdued on Tuesday, with no major economic data releases from the U.S. on the calendar. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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