Stocks: Ending the quarter on the up

March 31, 2014: 8:07 AM ET
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

Markets look set to end a lackluster first quarter on a positive note.

Investors are hoping stronger economic data and fading geopolitical risks will help stocks resume their five-year run higher.

U.S. stock futures were pushing up ahead of the open.

There is little economic or corporate news on the docket Monday, but investors are gearing up for a busy week which concludes with jobless data Friday.

Related: March stocks: In like a lion, out with whiplash

The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all ended Friday less than 1% higher. The Dow was the only major U.S. index to end the week in positive territory after a decent 60-point rally on Friday.

The S&P has eked out a gain of 0.5% over the year to date, but the Dow remains stuck in the red, still down 1.5% during the quarter.

Related: Fear & Greed Index

In corporate news, Blackberry (BBRY) shares fell in pre-market trading after the struggling smartphone maker received a series of analyst downgrades Monday morning. After enjoying an early boost in 2013 on hopes of new CEO John Chen's turnaround strategy, Blackberry has tanked in recent days despite reporting a narrower-than-expected loss.

Google (GOOAV) shares edged up a day ahead of the tech giant's much anticipated 2 for 1 stock split in which shareholders will get another share for each one they own currently. The stock split was first announced two years ago, but was held up by a legal battle in which some shareholders raised objections.

European markets were mixed in midday trading, following lower-than-expected eurozone inflation data released Monday. The weak number is likely to revive talk that the European Central Bank could act Thursday to boost the economy.

Related: CNNMoney's Tech30

Asian markets ended mixed. The Shanghai Composite dropped 0.4% as investors wait for clarity from Beijing on possible new stimulus measures. The benchmark index has lost almost 4% this year on worries over slower economic growth in China.

Markets
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Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,810.06 91.06 0.51%
Nasdaq 4,712.97 11.10 0.24%
S&P 500 2,063.50 10.75 0.52%
Treasuries 2.32 -0.02 -0.86%
Data as of 11:06am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 17.12 0.12 0.71%
Kinder Morgan Inc 39.75 -0.17 -0.43%
Apple Inc 116.47 0.16 0.14%
Intel Corp 35.59 -0.36 -1.00%
Microsoft Corp 47.98 -0.72 -1.48%
Data as of Nov 21