NEW YORK Wall Street turned in a mixed performance Monday as investors watched the price of oil regain ground and decided to cash in some of their gains from the stock market's big rally last week.
While the stock market's major benchmarks showed modest losses, the number of stocks advancing outpaced decliners by about 2 to 1 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and by about 4 to 3 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
The tame session unfolded as oil rose on concerns that the threat of new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program may escalate tensions in the Middle East. Light, sweet crude rose $2.16 to settle at $131.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The rise in oil offset initial market enthusiasm after Bank of America Corp. posted results that beat expectations, raising hope the credit crisis might be easing for the nation's biggest retail banks. The largest U.S. bank by assets reported that higher investment banking and record revenue helped drive earnings during the second quarter.
With Bank of America's results, four of the nation's five biggest banks have now reported better-than-expected earnings, and that's raising hopes that the financial sector is starting to recover from the year-old credit crisis.
According to preliminary calculations, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 29.23, or 0.25 percent, to 11,467.34 after moving in and out of positive territory.
Broader indexes showed more modest declines. The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 0.68, or 0.05 percent, to 1,260.00; and the Nasdaq composite index dropped 3.25, or 0.14 percent, to 2,279.53.