Oil futures retreat, putting pressure on stocks
by William Watts and Victor Reklaitis
U.S. stocks struggled for direction Monday, erasing small early losses to trade near unchanged as investors await a speech by Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen at the end of the week.
The S&P 500 rose 0.48 point to 2,184.35, while the Dow industrials rose 15.61 points, or 0.1%, to 18,568.18. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 12.73 points, or 0.2%, to 5,251.11. Stocks opened with modest losses in light volume.
Some market bulls are taking a more cautious near-term stance in the wake of a rally that took al three major indexes to all-time highs last week. Jeffrey Saut, chief investment strategist at Raymond James, said the firm’s trading model had called for a short-term trading top heading into last Friday’s option expiration, with the potential for further selling if the S&P 500 breaks below 2,175.