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Stocks opened modestly higher on Monday, ahead of data on the services sector and factory orders that might yield hints as to the pace of the nation's economic growth.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 46 points higher in early morning trading and the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were also up.

The Institute for Supply Management's services index was expected later, along with a separate release on factory orders in November. Economic reports released ahead of the opening showed service industry growth slowed in China in December but gained momentum across most of Europe.

Janet Yellen was expected to be confirmed by the Senate on Monday to replace Ben Bernanke as head of the Federal Reserve, which started cutting its bond purchases this month and will release minutes from its December policy meeting on Wednesday.