Energy sector leads S&P as stock indexes nudge higher early

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. stocks opened slightly higher on Monday, as investors digested a report on consumer spending and earnings from heavyweight Exxon Mobil Corp. Americans cut spending in December by the largest amount since 2009, buying fewer cars and trucks and devoting less money to energy amid a deep plunge in oil prices, defying expectations that consumers would spend more in the face of cheap oil. Instead, consumers saved their windfalls from lower gasoline prices, pushing the savings rate to the highest rate since midsummer. The S&P 500 SPX, -0.38% rose 4.5 points, or 0.2%, to 1,999. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.52% added 30 points, or 0.2%, to 17,196. The Nasdaq Composite opened up 2 points at 4,637


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