Stocks mover higher as new quarter begins

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by Chris Patterson

(CNNMoney) -- Stocks kicked off the second quarter with slight gains Monday as the Dow and S&P 500 continued to hit new highs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq were all up modestly on what's expected to be a light day of trading on Wall Street.

The Institute for Supply Management will release its monthly manufacturing index at 10 a.m. ET, and the Census Bureau will publish data on construction spending.

U.S. stocks wrapped up a stellar first quarter Thursday, with the S&P 500 finally joining the Dow in hitting a new high. U.S. markets were closed on Good Friday.

"We're coming off a great first quarter," said Art Hogan, managing director at Lazard Capital Markets, adding that "volume will most likely be light" on the Monday following Easter.

Thin trading could result in volatility, he said, even if there are no major news events.

In company news, Tesla Motors jumped 11%, after the electric car maker said it expects to achieve its first-ever quarterly profit based on strong sales of its all-electric Model S.

China released data Monday that indicated an acceleration in manufacturing activity. Separately, Beijing and Shanghai announced new measures designed to cool housing prices.

The Nikkei dropped 2.1% while the Shanghai Composite declined 0.1%.

Markets in London, Frankfurt, Paris and Hong Kong were closed Monday for an extended Easter holiday.

"We come into a day where we're the only game in town," said Hogan.

The dollar gained ground against the euro and British pound but fell against the Japanese yen.

Oil prices fell, while gold prices edged higher.

The price on the 10-year Treasury fell slightly, pushing the yield up to 1.87% from 1.85%.