US stocks barely budged on Monday as rising oil prices lifted the energy sector, but investors' worries about higher interest rates hurt rate-sensitive issues like home builders and retailers.
Exxon Mobil Corp led the Standard & Poor's 500 index higher, as crude oil futures in London topped $69 a barrel on news that Saudi Arabia will keep OPEC supply limits in place thrugh July. Exxon's stock, up 0.7 per cent at $83.27, also ranked among the Dow's top gainers.
But interest-rate worries carried over from last week, when a spike in benchmark U.S. Treasury bond yields helped trigger a three-day slide in the stock market on concerns about inflation and higher borrowing costs.
On Monday, the 10-year US Treasury note's rose to 5.14 per cent from 5.11 per cent late Friday, while its price slipped 7/32.
"There's a fair amount of nervousness still prevalent in the equity market as a result of yields moving through 5 per cent," said Michael James, senior trader at regional investment bank Wedbush Morgan in Los Angeles.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 9.91 points, or 0.07 per cent, at 13,434.30. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 2.99 points, or 0.20 per cent, at 1,510.66. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 2.19 points, or 0.09 per cent, at 2,575.86.