U.S. stocks opened higher on Monday as returning investors bet a 2010 rally would continue in the new year and Chinese factory inflation data tempered concerns over increased monetary tightening.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 96.98 points, or 0.84 percent, at 11,674.49. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 10.68 points, or 0.85 percent, at 1,268.32. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> jumped 26.82 points, or 1.01 percent, at 2,679.69.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)