The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a small gain of 15.82 points, or 0.12 percent, to end at 12,965.69, after rallying to the psychologically-important 13,000 level for the first time in almost four years earlier in the session.
Wal-Mart was the biggest laggard on the blue-chip index, while Chevron and Alcoa gained.
The S&P 500 added 0.98 points, or 0.07 percent, to finish at 1,362.21. The Nasdaq slipped 3.21 points, or 0.11 percent, to close at 2,948.57. The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, closed above 18.
Among the key S&P sectors, energy ended higher, while health care slipped.
“You may get some people saying: ‘We’re back to where we were several years ago and maybe we can move on from here,’” said Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS Financial Services. “I’d like to hope that’s true, but so far, it’s all psychology and there’s no following through—there was no burst of enthusiasm that followed [13,000].”
Euro zone finance ministers sealed a 130 billion euro ($172 billion) bailout for Greece to avert a default in March, after persuading private bondholders to take greater losses and the Greek government to commit to deep cuts.
However, European shares closed lowerafter hitting seven-month highs in the previous session, with strategists saying the focus would now turn to the bleak outlook for Greece's economy after the country secured a bailout package.
“We’re now seeing a cautious market that’s been expecting a closure to the Greek deal and a market that’s confronted with other problems," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital.
Still, Cardillo said he sees stocks moving higher going forward.
“The longer investors wait to re-enter the market, the greater the possibility will be of missing another shot at a bull run,” he said, adding he expects improving economic growth in the U.S.