Equities closed mostly flat on Thursday as energy stocks put a lid on the broader market.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed about 6 points lower, with Caterpillar and Chevron contributing the most losses. The 30-stock index fell more than 100 points at session lows before recovering most losses.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite ended the session mostly flat.
U.S. oil plunged below $46 a barrel, hitting a five-month low after data showed a smaller-than-expected decline in U.S. inventories.
"Energy and commodities, in general, are putting pressure on the overall equity markets here," said Adam Sarhan, CEO of 50 Park Investments. "There are also some questions about what can the Trump administration accomplish at this point."
Energy stocks dropped about 2 percent Thursday, capping gains in the major indexes.
"The question is whether the market sees this as a supply story or an indication of slowing growth in the economy," said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential
Energy is also one of the biggest contributors to first-quarter earnings growth. CFRA's Bell said that earnings growth including energy totals more than 14 percent and drops to about 7 percent when energy is excluded.
"Some of the big energy companies have come out with strong numbers. That's a sign that things are beginning to stabilize," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial.