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U.S. stocks open mixed in cautious trade; Dow Jones down 0.07%

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Shutterstock photo - - U.S. stocks opened mixed on Monday, as markets were jittery ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen's testimony on the bank's semiannual monetary policy report scheduled on Tuesday.

During early U.S. trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average eased 0.07%, the S&P 500 dipped 0.01%, while the Nasdaq Composite index gained 0.32%.

On Friday, the Labor Department said the U.S. economy added 113,000 jobs in January, well below expectations for 185,000 new jobs, as inclement weather contributed to the slowdown in hiring.

The report also showed that the number of people participating in the labor force edged up to 63% from a 30-year low of 62.8% last month, while the unemployment rate unexpectedly ticked down to a five year low 6.6% from 6.7% in December.

The report was seen as unlikely to prompt the Fed to halt reductions in its stimulus program. The bank announced a second cut to its asset purchase program in January, trimming it to USD65 billion-per-month.

In the financial sector, JPMorgan rose 0.35% despite reports a top Chinese regulator asked the U.S. lender's Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon to hire a family friend who now works for the bank.

Adding to gains, Apple jumped 0.97% after advisory firm ISS recommended the company's shareholders vote against a proposal by activist investor Carl Icahn to aggressively expand stock repurchases.

Yelp saw shares soar 5.58% after the Wall Street Journal reported that Yahoo is planning to include Yelp's ratings of local businesses in its search results.

On the downside, AOL shares tumbled 1.82% as the company's CEO was forced to backtrack on a 401(k) policy change, after comments defending the idea fueled an employee outcry.

Last week, Armstrong said AOL needed the retirement-plan change to help offset health-care costs, such as two employee pregnancies that resulted in "distressed babies" with more than USD1 million each in medical expenses.

Elsewhere, McDonald's reported better-than-expected global sales at established restaurants in January, but said U.S. same-store sales declined more than expected, sending shares down 0.33%.

Hasbro surged 2.30% even as the toy maker posted fourth-quarter earnings short of estimates.

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were higher. The EURO STOXX 50 added 0.10%, France's CAC 40 climbed 0.47%, Germany's DAX edged up 0.10%, while Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.19%.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slid 0.27%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index jumped 1.77%. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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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.

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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