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Stocks open lower on discouraging news from Asia

Stocks open lower on discouraging news from Asia


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U.S. stocks are getting off to a weak start following disappointing economic news from China and Japan.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell three points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,874 in the first few minutes of trading Monday.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 52 points, or 0.3 percent, to 16,401. The Nasdaq composite fell six points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,330.

Asian markets closed lower. China's exports slumped 18 percent in February, the latest sign of trouble for the world's second-largest economy. Japan lowered its estimate for fourth-quarter economic growth.

In the U.S., chemical company FMC Corp. rose 7 percent after saying it plans to split into two publicly traded companies.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.79 percent.

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