U.S. stocks open mixed, eyes on earnings; Dow Jones down 0.02%

U.S. stocks opened mixed on Tuesday, as markets were still jittery after Friday's disappointing U.S. employment report and the recent global stock market downtrend due to profit-taking, while investors awaited first-quarter earnings to be released this week.

During early U.S. trade, the Dow 30 dipped 0.02%, the S&P 500 added 0.16%, while the Nasdaq gained 0.45%.

Investors remained cautious after last week’s U.S. payrolls report disappointed some market expectations for a stronger number.

Market participants were also eyeing Wednesday’s minutes of the Federal Reserve’s March meeting for further indications on the future direction of monetary policy.

In the financial sector, Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) edged up 0.06% after the U.S. lender agreed to pay $1.13 billion to settle claims from mortgage-bond investors, in a move to curb liabilities tied to the financial crisis. It took a $100 million first-quarter charge.

Pharmaceutical group Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) rose 0.10% after announcing on Monday that its experimental breast cancer drug yielded positive results in a clinical trial, but researchers found overall survival to be statistically insignificant.

Adding to gains, U.S.-traded Nokia (NYSE:NOK) shares surged 4.71% after the phone company said it received approval from Chinese authorities to sell its mobile phone business to Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) without being asked to change its patent practices. Microsoft was up 0.08%.

Aluminum producer Alcoa (NYSE:AA), which was set to kick off first-quarter earnings season after the closing bell, jumped 1.36%.

On the downside, Kellogg (NYSE:K) fell 0.23% amid speculation the cereal maker could be an acquisition target.

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were lower. The DJ Euro Stoxx 50 dropped 0.71%, France’s CAC 40 declined 0.68%, Germany's DAX slumped 0.65%, while Britain's FTSE 100 retreated 0.79%.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 0.98%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 tumbled 1.36%.