Stocks squeezed out a small gain in thin, choppy trading Monday, erasing most of the session's earlier rally as traders were hesitant to fully jump in without any proper market conviction.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 37 points, or 0.34 percent, to finish at 10,854.65, led by AT&T and Hewlett-Packard . The Dow was up more than 200 points during its session high.
Meanwhile, BofA led the gainers on the blue-chip index.
The S&P 500 notched up 0.29 points, or 0.03 percent, to close at 1,123.82. The Nasdaq added 3.54 points, or 0.15 percent, to end at 2,345.38.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, traded near 42.
Among S&P sectors, materials and techs gained, while energy and financials lagged.
Last week, the major averages lost over 4 percentin choppy trading amid worries over a global recession in addition to the ongoing euro zone jitters.
"I don’t think this market has enough strength and volume to hold onto the gains we’ve seen so far," Jonathan Corpina, senior managing director of Meridian Equity Partners told CNBC. "[There's] not a lot of economic data this week—we all agree that the all the market movement’s going to come from headlines outside of the U.S. and everyone’s going to wait until Friday until we hear Mr. Bernanke speak."
At the end of the week, all eyes will be on Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke as he makes his widely-anticipated speech at the Fed's annual Jackson Hole, Wyoming symposium. Investors will watch for any signs of a possible round of asset purchases (also known as quantitative easing) which will likely help bolster the stock market.