NEW YORK - U.S. stocks hardly budged Monday as smaller firms and retailers rose while health-care companies and banks declined. Chemical and mining companies rose as the dollar weakened.
Precious metals rose as the dollar, already at its lowest levels in almost a year, weakened a bit further. Bond yields slipped, sending banks lower and high-dividend stocks such as utilities and household goods companies higher.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 0.13 points, or 0.01 percent, to 2,459.14. The Dow Jones industrial average shed 8.02 points, or 0.04 percent, to 21,629.72. The Nasdaq composite gained 1.97 points, or 0.03 percent, to 6,314.43. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 2.79 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,431.60.
The dollar has been declining this year as investors have concluded that the federal government isn't close to any kind of infrastructure spending package, which would strengthen the U.S. economy. Meanwhile, economies in Europe are doing better and interest rates there are rising, which makes European currencies stronger.
The dollar rose to 112.66 yen from 112.56 yen. The euro rose to $1.1480 from $1.1467. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index is at its lowest level since early September.
Gold rose $6.20 to $1,233.70 an ounce. Silver gained 17 cents, or 1 percent, to $16.10 an ounce. Copper rose 3 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $2.72 a pound.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.31 percent from 2.33 percent.
FedEx Corp. said shipping volumes for its TNT Express business are down and customers are still experiencing delays after the business was hit by a cyberattack in late June. FedEx said it doesn't know when its services will be back up to speed, and its annual results will take a hit because of the dip in shipments and the cost of responding to the attack. The company's stock fell $3.58, or 1.6 percent, to $215.48.
A number of companies hammered out deals over the weekend. Diamond producer Dominion Diamond Corp. agreed to be bought by Washington Cos. for $14.25 a share, or about $1.2 billion. The company's stock gained 59 cents, or 4.4 percent, to $14.07.
Label manufacturer Multi-Color Corp. said it will pay $1.3 billion in cash and stock to buy the labels business of Constantia Flexibles. Multi-Color said the deal will raise its annual revenue to $1.6 billion. Its stock declined $4.80, or 5.8 percent, to $77.75.
Benchmark U.S. crude lost 52 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $46.02 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 49 cents, or 1 percent, to $48.42 a barrel in London.
Wholesale gasoline stayed at $1.56 a gallon. Heating oil lost 2 cents to $1.50 a gallon. Natural gas added 4 cents to $3.02 per 1,000 cubic feet.