U.S. equities closed fractionally higher on Monday amid geopolitical tensions while investors looked ahead to the start of earnings season.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained less than 10 points, with Caterpillar contributing the most gains.
Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial, said trading volumes may be low this week given the Easter holiday on Sunday. "Low volumes tend to skew market moves," she said. But "I think it would be healthy for the market to finish flat this week given the events in Syria."
The S&P 500 closed about 0.1 percent, with energy rising more than 0.75 percent to lead advancers. Energy stocks received a boost from oil, which rose 1.61 percent to settle at $53.08 per barrel after Libya's largest oilfield was shut down.
Oil prices have rebounded more than 9 percent over the past month. Chris Bertelsen, CIO at Aviance Capital Management, said he expects oil to remain around $50 in the near-term. "The Saudis think of their own interests, and with the Saudi Aramco IPO coming, it benefits them to have oil north of $50," he said. Bertelsen added he sees oil hovering below $50 after the IPO.
The Nasdaq composite advanced 0.1 percent higher. The three major indexes traded slightly lower earlier in the session.
"Until we get into earnings season, I don't think we're going to do much of anything. I think we're just stuck in the middle of a range," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial.
"Of course, there are still a lot of geopolitical tensions out there, but the market could also be responding to the lack of fireworks" from the U.S.-China meeting last week, Cardillo said.