Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. REUTERS

U.S. stocks opened modestly lower on Monday as investors awaited the release of President Obama's budget.

The S&P 500 Index declined 0.59 points, or 0.08 percent, to trade at 1,328.13 at 9:40 a.m. EDT. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 27.32 points, or 0.22 percent, to trade at 12,245.94. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.03 percent.

U.S. stocks rallied on Friday after Hosni Mubarak resigned as president of Egypt and the Obama administration announced plans to dissolve Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The S&P 500 closed last week at the highest level since June 2008.

As no major economic data due to be released on Monday investors are likely to focus on retail sales data on Tuesday and inflation figures on Wednesday.

On the corporate front, shares of Nokia Corp. (NYSE:NOK) plunged 3.9 percent after The company stock was downgraded to “underweight” rating from “overweight” rating at JP Morgan and to “underweight” rating from “neutral” rating at HSBC.

China’s trade surplus fell 53.5 percent to $6.45 billion in January, as both exports and imports increased sharply ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays in the country. Exports from the country rose 37.7 per cent to $150.73 billion in January compared with the month a year earlier, imports jumped 51 per cent to $144.28 billion.

The euro declined 0.71 percent to 1.3459 against the dollar and the yen gained 0.07 percent against the greenback.

Crude oil futures declined 0.01 percent to $85.57/barrel and gold futures rose 0.22 percent.

European stock markets are currently trading mixed with FTSE100 down by 12.97 points, DAX30 up by 24.19 points and CAC 40 down by 4.07 points.