US stocks opened higher on Monday to start the first full trading week in 2014, with investors expecting to see a string of major events including the Federal Reserve's minutes, jobs data and a new corporate earnings season.
The Fed will release on Wednesday the minutes of its December policy meeting, at which the central bank announced the first tapering of its massive asset purchases by 10 billion U.S. dollars starting in January. The minutes will give investors a better understanding of the Fed's decision-making.
Moreover, a non-farm payroll report for the final month of 2013 will be published on Friday by the Labor Department. Analysts expected non-farm payroll employment to increase 200,000 last December, while jobless rate to remain unchanged at 7 percent.
Later in the day, the market will get the latest factory orders data for November and the Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing index for December.
Investors may use any sign of weakness in incoming economic data as an opportunity to sell and lock in profits after the U.S. equity market posted its best year in over a decade in 2013.
Furthermore, the fourth-quarter earnings season will unofficially kick off this week with results from aluminum giant Alcoa due out on Thursday.
FactSet, a financial information provider, estimated that earnings growth rate for the S&P 500 as a whole for the fourth quarter is 6.3 percent, while the estimated revenue growth rate is just 0.3 percent.
Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 52.28 points, or 0.32 percent, to 16,522.27. The S&P 500 gained 4.97 points, or 0.27 percent, to 1,836.34. The Nasdaq added 2.25 points, or 0.05 percent, to 4,134.15.