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US markets end marginally higher Monday

The US markets ended marginally higher on Monday as traders seemed reluctant to make more significant moves ahead of the announcement of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy decision on Wednesday. The Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged, although the accompanying statement and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's subsequent press conference are still likely to attract attention. Traders are also likely to keep a close eye on the Labor Department's monthly jobs report scheduled to be released on Friday. Street expects the report to show an increase of about 180,000 jobs in April compared to the addition of 196,000 jobs in March. The unemployment rate is expected to hold at 3.8 percent. Besides, reports on consumer confidence, pending home sales, and manufacturing and service sector activity may also impact trading in the coming days.

On the economic front, a report released by the Commerce Department showed a smaller than expected uptick in US personal income in the month of March, although the report also showed a significant increase in personal spending during the month. The Commerce Department said personal income inched up by 0.1 percent in March after edging up by 0.2 percent in February. Street had expected income to climb by 0.4 percent. Disposable personal income, or personal income less personal current taxes, crept up by less than a tenth of a percent in March after ticking up by 0.1 percent in February. Meanwhile, the report said personal spending jumped by 0.9 percent in March after inching up by 0.1 percent in February and rising by an upwardly revised 0.3 percent in January. The Commerce Department provided new data for both February and March in this month's report due to the impact of the recent government shutdown. Street had been expecting personal spending to rise by 0.2 percent in February and climb by 0.7 percent in March.

Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 11.06 points or 0.04 percent to 26554.39, Nasdaq added 15.45 points or 0.19 percent to 8161.85 and S&P 500 was up by 3.15 points or 0.11 percent to 2943.03.

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