Stocks lost steam in late morning trading as techs and financials slipped despite news U.S. forces killed Osama Bin Laden.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose more than 20 points after ending April at multi-year highs.
Alcoa , Merck and American Express led blue-chips higher, while Microsoft fell.
The S&P 500 gained, while the Nasdaq slipped. The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market,rose above 15.
All key S&P 500 sectors advanced, led by health care, consumer discretionary and telecom gained.
U.S. crude slid more than 1 percent after the news, but prices have stabilized in morning trading. London Brent crude fell slightly below $126 a barrel, while U.S. light crude rose above $114.
The dollar shed earlier gains against a basket of currencies, while the price ofgold stabilizedabove $1,558, and silver fell nearly 5 percent to almost $46 an ounce.
In a late-night address on Sunday, President Obama said U.S. forces led an operation in which bin Laden was killed, and that "justice has been done."
While futures initially spiked on the news, the modest gains seen Monday are "more of the same," in terms of the market continuing a trend of climbing higher, said Dan McMahon, director of equity trading at Raymond James.
"The fact he has been brought to justice, sure, it’s a positive, it’s great for all parties involved, ....but in the grand scheme of things it’s a non event," McMahon said. "The markets are about earnings and the economy."
News of Bin Laden's death should be positive for stocks, however, said analysts at JPMorgan, as it will prompt more investors to buy into the market, JP Morgan analysts wrote in a note to clients.
That's because the death of al Qaeda's leader means there is less risk in the world, and consumer confidence should rise on news of a major U.S. victory, the analysts said. Also, "catastrophe" assets like commodities will be worth less than equities, further pushing inflows into stocks, they said.
"The death of Osama Bin Laden, in our view, will have durable positive effects on equity markets, persuading investors to diminish fears on global security (a strong case to be made that the war on terror is over), leading to lower equity risk premiums (read P/E of stocks go up)," the analysts wrote.
The markets are up considerably since Bin Laden's al Qaeda network struck at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. The Dow is up nearly 34 percent, while the S&P 500 is up more than 25 percent, and the Nasdaq has gained more than 70 percent.