U.S. stocks closed mixed Monday, steadying after their first three-week rally of the year so far, as gains in energy stocks offset declines in technology.
"A lot of people have been short some of those names so I think you're seeing a short squeeze," Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth, said, noting a continued shift from growth to value stocks.
The Dow Jones industrial average posted its first five-straight days of gains since October. Chevron, IBM and Exxon Mobil contributed the most to gains. Visa and Nike were the greatest contributors to declines.
The S&P 500 also posted a five-day win streak by eking out a gain and topping 2,000 in the close. Energy rose nearly 2.4 percent as the top advancer, while information technology ended about 0.7 percent lower as the greatest decliner. Over the last four weeks, the sector is up about 9 percent from its intraday low.
"I don't think it's a whole lot more than, we had a significant rise over a three-week period. Anybody that's getting hit today is ... up significantly over a three-week basis," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.
The Nasdaq composite underperformed as the only index of major three to close a touch lower, weighed by declines of about 2 percent or more in shares of Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon and Alphabet.
Gains in oil supported the rise in energy stocks. Brent crude topped $40 a barrel for the first time in 2016, while WTI briefly topped $38 a barrel in intraday trade and settled up $1.98 at $37.90 a barrel, its highest level of the year so far.
"I think it's a little bit of profit-taking on people who are long the market, and people who are short the market are still covering," said Dan Veru, chief investment officer at Palisade Capital Management.