NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks were flat to slightly higher in a topsy-turvy trading session Monday. Energy stocks rallied on OPEC predictions of oil prices as high as $200 a barrel, overshadowing earlier news that the anti-austerity party Syriza had won the general election in Greece.
Benchmark indexes erased earlier losses. The S&P 500 edged 0.04% higher, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.04%, and the Nasdaq climbed 0.06%.
Crude oil prices stabilized from an earlier selloff following reassurance from the secretary-general of OPEC that oil prices would bottom out at current levels. "Now the prices are around $45-$55 and I think maybe they reached the bottom and will see some rebound very soon," Abdullah el-Badri told Reuters. El-Badri also said without new investment crude oil prices could recover to $200-a-barrel levels as the supply-demand dynamic restabilizes over the next few years.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil was up 0.35% to $45.75 a barrel.
Prices earlier fell more than 1% as Saudi Arabia's successor reiterated the country's commitment to previous oil production policies. The biggest OPEC producer has been under pressure to limit output in the face of global oversupply.
Energy producers Exxon Mobil (XOM) - Get Report , Chevron (CVX) - Get Report , Royal Dutch Shell (BP) - Get Report and BP (BP) - Get Report were all higher. The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) - Get Report climbed 0.9%.
Athens' ATG stock index was down 2% after Syriza's victory ignited fears the new government could compromise the terms of Greece's bailout package, possibly leading to Greece's exit from the eurozone. Party leader Alexis Tsipras broached a partnership with the right-wing Independent Greeks to form a majority coalition. Both parties have expressed animosity toward the austerity measures imposed as part of bailouts from the European Union and International Monetary Fund. Since 2010, the organizations have loaned Greece 240 billion euros ($277.8 billion).
The euro suffered a volatile start to the week, dropping to a fresh 11-year low of $1.1098, before recovering 0.6% to $1.12 against the U.S. dollar.
Other European markets shook off earlier losses. France's CAC 40 climbed 0.12%, Germany's DAX added 1.1%, and London's FTSE was flat.
The eurozone's economy was looking better after Germany's monthly Ifo business climate index rose to a six-month high of 106.7 in January.
Paper packaging company MeadWestvaco (MWV) jumped 17.8% following an announcement it was merging with competitor RockTenn (RKT) . The merger, worth $16 billion, would see MeadWestvaco hold 50.1% of the combined company.
Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) agreed to purchase affiliate Regency Energy Partners (RGP) for around $18 billion. The combined company would have operations in the majority of oil-producing regions in the U.S. Energy Transfer was 4.5% lower and Regency Energy jumped 7.4%.
Universal Display (OLED) - Get Report spiked 18.3% after signing a patent licensing deal with LG Display (LPL) - Get Report through to 2022. As part of the deal, Universal Display would receive license fees and royalties.
IBM (IBM) - Get Report shares were 1.4% higher on rumors the tech company is undergoing a massive restructuring. Though as yet unsubstantiated, Forbes reports the company is set to layoff more than 110,000 jobs, or more than a quarter of its work force.
Mattel (MAT) - Get Report tumbled more than 4% after announcing the resignation of CEO Bryan Stockton. The toymaker also slashed its fourth-quarter profit guidance to 52 cents a share, well below consensus of 91 cents.
--Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York.