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US stocks open mixed ahead of factory orders report, Fed policy meeting minutes
U.S. stocks are mixed ahead of news about factory activity and the Federal Reserve's plans to nurture the economy.
The government is expected to report at 10 a.m. EDT that factory orders bounced back in February as the economy continued to strengthen. A preliminary report last week showed orders for durable goods surging after a weak January.
The Federal Reserve will release minutes from the March 13 meeting of its Federal Open Market Committee at 2 p.m. Tuesday. The minutes will inform bond traders who have doubted the Fed's resolve in keeping interest rates very low into 2014.
The Dow Jones industrial average is down 17 points at 13,247 in the first half-hour of trading. The S&P 500 is down two at 1,416. The Nasdaq is up 4 at 3,123.