The US bourse is set to open higher as European leaders get ready to meet.

New York - US stocks Monday opened higher ahead of a busy week of economic data as US markets return to life after the holidays.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 53.43 (0.32 percent) to 16,523.42.

The broad-based S&P 500 tacked on 4.82 (0.26 percent) to 1,836.19, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite advanced 2.22 (0.05

percent to 4,134.12.

Markets are expected to return to normal this week in the first full trading week since the Christmas and New Years holidays.

A busy week of data kicks off later Monday with a release from the Institute for Supply Management on business activity in the services sector.

Equity markets declined last week after breaking new records to close out a banner 2013 for stocks. - Sapa-AFP