NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks opened modestly higher on Monday, after a two-week decline pushed the S&P 500 back into negative territory for the year, as investors anticipated the start of the corporate earnings season.

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI) rose 44.76 points, or 0.25 percent, to 17,782.13, the S&P 500 (.SPX) gained 4.21 points, or 0.21 percent, to 2,049.02 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) added 10.50 points, or 0.22 percent, to 4,714.57.

(Reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by Bernadette Baum)