FILE - In this Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, file photo, trader Gregory Rowe, center, works at the post of specialist Joseph Mastrolia, left, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The mood in financial markets steadied Monday, March 10, 2014, despite earlier big losses in Asia following disappointing Chinese and Japanese economic data. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

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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