NEW YORK, New York - A boost in the price of energy stocks failed to ignite a flat market on Wall Street on Easter Monday.
With many investors still on vacation, enjoying an extended Easter break, many markets globally were closed, including Australia, and Ireland which marked its annual Bank Holiday on Monday.
Hikes in oil prices drove a 2.1% increase in the S&P Energy index, following the U.S. decision to end waivers to countries buying oil from Iran. These customers account for a large sector of the world's population, including the powerhouse economies of India and China, as well as Japan, Egypt and South Korea.
Otherwise there was little enthusiasm for stocks, despite many companies reporting better than expected earnings.
"It’s important at this point to sit back and reflect on what the prospects are that will take us forward. It’s appropriate to see what we’re seeing today," Ryan Larson, head of U.S. equity trading at RBC Global Asset Management in Chicago told Reuters Thomson.
At the end of the day Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 48.49 points or 0.18% at 26,511.05.
The Standard and Poor's 500 rose 2.94 points or 0.10%,to 2,907.97.
The Nasdaq Composite did best of all, rising 17.21 points or 0.22% to 8,015.27.
The U.S. dollar went nowhere Monday, although it softened a touch against the euro, which rose to 1.1260.
The British pound was unchanged at 1.2981, as was the Swiss franc at 1.0153, and the Japanese yen at 111.93.
The commodity currencies were little changed, holding to their weak close last week. The Australian dollar was last quoted at 0.7138, the Canadian dollar at 1.3345 and the New Zealand dollar at 0.6682.