Updated with stock, commodity and Treasury prices.

Consumer staples stocks and an upgraded American Express ( AXP) helped to pull two of three major indices into the green Monday after a drop in oil and economic worries discouraged investors early on.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was higher by 44.13 points, or 0.5%, at 8324.87, while the S&P 500 gained 2.3 points, or 0.3%, to 898.72. The Nasdaq Composite declined 9.12 points, or 0.5%, to 1787.40.

American Express increased 5.6% after an upgrade, leading the Dow. It was followed by 1% to 3% gains in DuPont ( DD), Travelers ( TRV), Merck ( MRK), Procter & Gamble ( PG), and Kraft ( KFT).

Those gains helped to offset a 6.1% decline in aluminum maker Alcoa and a 3.9% loss in Bank of America ( BAC) shares.

Stocks overseas retreated early and oil tumbled $2.68 to settle at $64.05 a barrel amid concern for the global economic recovery.

Disappointing economic data from last week on consumer sentiment and unemployment continued to jar the U.S. markets early Monday as well, although buyers began to step in on the dip by midday.

"The expectations are and have been that things are getting less worse, and unfortunately the jobs report didn't have anything to support that things are getting less worse -- we're still bad and still struggling overall from employment to income," says Paul Nolte, director of investments at Hinsdale Associates.

"After three days of thinking about it, I think investors decided -- discretion being the better part of valor -- maybe taking money off the table after Thursday's decline," says Nolte. "As long as incomes aren't rising that quickly, it's going to be hard for the consumer to begin spending to support the overall economy." (Click to listen to my entire conversation with Nolte.)

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