How major U.S. stock market indexes fared on Monday

The financial sector, down 0.3 percent, was among the day's worst performers, while technology was the biggest drag, with the tech index down 0.4 percent.

"There's not a lot of impetus to move markets today", said David Schiegoleit, managing director at the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank. "The market is just biding time until we get more data".

The S&P 500 index rose 1.62 points to settle at 2,357.16.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 6.72 points, or 0.03%, to 20651.30. The Nasdaq composite gained almost 0.1 per cent.

Bond prices rose. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 2.36% from 2.38% late on Friday. They spent much of the afternoon drifting between small gains and losses. The New York Stock Exchange will close on Good Friday and reopen Monday.

Chris Beauchamp, market analyst at spreadbetter IG Index, looks ahead to bank earnings season saying the picture short term may not be so rosy, due to slowing loan growth and flatter yields.

The price of bullion soared to a five-month high Tuesday as investors flocked to the safe haven amid rising global tensions, particularly between the USA and North Korea. Hess climbed 1.92 dollars, or 4%, to 49.97 dollars. Rig operator Transocean rose 36 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $12.79.

Traders bid up shares in several companies announcing deals. Swift Transportation soared on news the trucking company is to merge with rival Knight Transportation - which also racked up strong gains - in a deal worth $6bn. Knight's shares were up 13.4 percent.

Straight Path Communications (STRP.A) surged 151 percent to $91.64 after AT&T (T.N) offered a huge premium to buy the owner of wireless spectrum licenses. Straight Path's shares gained $53.36, or 146.3 percent, to $89.84. AT&T slipped 21 cents to 40.38 dollars. Investors had their eye on several big corporate deals. Energy stocks rose more than 0.75% to lead gainers on the S&P. Three Jana employees plan to run for spots on the board and seek to launch a review of options for the company, including a potential sale.

The furniture and appliance rental company said Mark Speese, its founder and chairman, will return as CEO.

Qualcomm (QCOM) dropped almost 2% and Apple (AAPL) dipped 0.1% on reports that Qualcomm late Monday filed counter-claims against Apple, alleging the larger company of a series of unethical practices.

Also denting sentiment is a March report, which showed a fall in small-business optimism in the United States of America, which was a bit bigger than had been expected.

Stocks have wavered in recent sessions as details remain scarce on policy changes such as tax reform and infrastructure spending, giving investors few reasons to place fresh bets.

Stocks around Asia were trading mixed on Monday in morning session, after a jittery few days in which geopolitical risks had come to the fore.

The Russell 2000 is up 9.96 points, or 0.7 percent.

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