(AP) -- U.S. stock indexes eked out tiny gains Monday as news of several corporate deals helped lift the market.
Energy stocks led the gainers as the price of crude oil rose for the fifth day in a row. Phone companies were the biggest laggard. Gold fell and the dollar weakened versus the yen and euro.
"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 Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 1.62 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,357.16. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 1.92 points, or 0.01 percent, to 20,658.02. The Nasdaq composite index added 3.11 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,880.93.
Bond prices rose. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 2.36 percent from 2.38 percent late Friday.
The major indexes veered lower soon after the market opened on Monday, but moved into positive territory by midday. They spent much of the afternoon drifting between small gains and losses.
Trading was mostly quiet ahead of the Good Friday holiday, when U.S. markets will be closed. In addition, no major economic reports are due out this week, though the next cycle of company earnings reports kicks off on Wednesday.
"There are a lot of things coming up on the horizon, with earnings, Fed-speak and things like that," said Schiegoleit. "In terms of everything else, the market is in a wait-and-see mode."
Several oil industry stocks got a boost from rising crude prices. Hess climbed $1.92, or 4 percent, to $49.97. Rig operator Transocean rose 32 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $12.75.
Benchmark crude oil closed higher for the fifth day in a row, adding 84 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $53.08 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, gained 74 cents, or 1.3 percent, at $55.98 a barrel in London.
Traders bid up shares in several companies announcing deals.
Among them were trucking companies Swift Transportation and Knight Transportation, which agreed to combine in an all-stock deal. Swift shareholders will own a majority of the company, which will be called Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings. Swift's shares added $4.75, or 23.7 percent, to $24.77, while Knight gained $4.10, or 13.4 percent, to $34.75.
Straight Path Communications more than doubled after the wireless spectrum license company agreed to be acquired by AT&T in a deal valued at $1.25 billion. Straight Path's shares gained $55.16, or 151.2 percent, to $91.64. AT&T slipped 21 cents to $40.38.
The whiff of a potential company sale also drew investors to buy up shares in Whole Foods Market.
The company's stock jumped 10 percent after Jana Partners bought an 8.8 percent stake in the supermarket chain. 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 stock was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500, adding $3.10 to $34.17.
A management change and brighter outlook helped lift Rent-A-Center sharply higher.
The furniture and appliance rental company said Mark Speese, its founder and chairman, will return as CEO. Speese has been the company's interim CEO the last three months. Rent-A-Center also issued an optimistic 2018 forecast. The stock climbed 69 cents, or 7.2 percent, to $10.29.
Major stock indexes overseas were mixed Monday.
Germany's DAX inched down 0.2 percent, while France's CAC 40 lost 0.5 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 was flat. Earlier in Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.7, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.9 percent. South Korea's Kospi fell 0.9 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was steady.
In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline gained 1 cent to $1.76 a gallon. Heating oil rose 2 cents to $1.65 a gallon. Natural gas slid 2 cents to $3.24 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Among metals, gold finished down $3.40 at $1,253.90. Silver lost 24 cents to $17.92 an ounce. Copper declined 4 cents to $2.60 a pound.
In currency trading, the dollar fell to 110.94 yen from 111.15 yen late Friday. The euro strengthened to $1.0596 from $1.0588.