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Stocks flat as investors return from break

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By CNNMoney Staff

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Stocks were flat in early trading Monday as investors kicked off the first full week of the year.

The Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were all mostly unchanged.

And there's a new index in town! CNNMoney's Tech 30 Index made its debut Monday. The index is designed to give investors a snapshot of 30 tech industry leaders around the globe.

The index includes U.S. tech heavyweights such as Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook as well as international companies Baidu and SAP. The Tech 30 was down slightly Monday morning.

After starting the year with a lackluster performance last week, stocks could continue to tread water in the run-up to Friday's big jobs report.

Investors are also awaiting the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's December meeting, when it announced plans to trim its monthly bond purchases by $10 billion to $75 billion beginning this month.

"Investors, I think, will stay on the sidelines until we get the Fed minutes out of the way," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital.

Later Monday, the U.S. Senate is expected to confirm Janet Yellen to serve as the next chair of the Federal Reserve, after Ben Bernanke's second term ends in January.

In corporate news, Men's Wearhouse launched a hostile bid for rival suit seller Jos. A. Bank. After a series of friendly offers and counter offers, Men's Wearhouse made a $1.6 billion cash offer and notified that it will nominate two members for its board of directors.

Liberty Media Corporation unveiled a complex proposal to take full control of satellite radio company Sirius XM Holdings by swapping stock. Liberty already owns a controlling stake in Sirius, but one analyst said the move is linked to a potential deal between cable companies Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable.

Charter, which Liberty also owns a stake in, has reportedly been in talks with major banks to borrow money to fund a possible bid for Time Warner Cable.

European markets were slightly higher in midday trading after the latest purchasing managers' survey showed the euro zone services sector lost some momentum in December. Many Asian markets ended lower. The latest report from HSBC on China's services sectors showed a slower rate of growth in December, adding to the downbeat tone.

 

The-CNN-Wire

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