NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks were little changed in light trading Thursday, as investors remained on the sidelines ahead of Christmas Day holiday. The price of crude oil continued to recover.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 37 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,566 as of 9:50 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell three points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,061 and the Nasdaq composite was little changed at 5,046.
ON HOLIDAY: Christmas Eve is almost always the quietest trading day of year. U.S. markets will have an abbreviated trading session on Thursday, closing at 1 p.m. Eastern. U.S. markets will remained closed Friday for Christmas.
ENERGY: Oil prices continued to recover from lows earlier in the week. U.S. crude futures gained 51 cents to $38.01 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, was up 34 cents at $37.70.
Energy stocks didn't benefit from oil's climb. The energy component of the S&P 500 index was down 0.8 percent.
BONDS AND CURRENCIES: The dollar edged lower to 120.35 yen from 120.88 yen a day earlier. The euro rose slightly to $1.0955 from $1.0912. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note was unchanged at 2.25 percent.