Stock Market Today: Stocks Stagnate as Oil Tumbles Below $100

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks were mixed in early afternoon trading Monday, with much of the market stalling after the five weeks of gains that pushed the S&P 500 to another record-closing high. It was the S&P 500's 33rd record close of the year and 78th of the five-year-old bull market.

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Energy stocks continued to lag.

The energy sector was down 1.59% on Monday as stocks such as Schlumberger (SLB) , Exxon (XOM) and Halliburton  (HAL) each plunged more than 1% as crude oil prices sank below $100 a barrel for the first time in more than 14 months. Demand concerns worsened after Monday's weak Chinese import data. The United States Oil Fund ETF (USO) was down 1.49% to $34.38.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.05% to 17,128.68. The S&P 500 was down 0.23% to 2,003.12. The Nasdaq rose 0.14% to 4,589.44, marked by gains in Yahoo! (YHOO) , Microsoft (MSFT) and Google (GOOG) .

U.S. stock markets climbed on Friday to end the shortened, holiday week higher by 0.2% as weaker-than-expected jobs growth minimized worries the Federal Reserve would hike rates sooner than later. Also helping the markets end the session positive, the Ukraine and pro-Russia forces signed a ceasefire agreement. It was the S&P's fifth straight week of gains that saw the index pushed up 0.5% on the day to a record closing high of 2,007.71.

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The defensive staples and utilities sectors, each up 0.8%, led the index last week. Energy posted the largest decline, down 1.5%. The Russell 2000 fell 0.4% last week and remained 3.2% off its March high.

"The lack of confirmation from small caps, high yield, momentum and breadth, as well as valuations that appear slightly stretched have us viewing the recent gains through a fairly cautious lens. As the certainty of the U.S. QE era ends and uncertainty over future policy change heats up, we continue to believe investors should be on guard for higher volatility," said Gina Martin Adams, international equity strategist at Wells Fargo Securities.

European stocks finished mixed Monday, with the overall German economy still heavily weighed down by uncertainty over the situation in Ukraine and the poor performance of the eurozone and Scotland's independence referendum now just 10 days away.

The cease-fire deal between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces appeared to be largely holding in Eastern Ukraine a day after shelling and clashes threatened the agreement, according to The Associated Press.

In company headlines, Alibaba expects to price its initial public offering at between $60 to $66 a share, according to a regulatory filing late Friday that sets the stage for the Chinese e-commerce giant to make its debut on the New York Stock Exchange later this month. Alibaba plans to sell 123 million of the shares in the IPO, with the rest being offered by the company's early investors, including Yahoo!, which is parting with some of its 22% stake. Yahoo popped 4.57% to $41.40.

Landline phone service provider CenturyLink (CTL) is seeking to acquire Rackspace Hosting (RAX) to further expand into cloud-computing services, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the situation. Rackspace surged 5.5% to $39.29. CenturyLink fell 2.1% to $40.60.

The SPDR Gold Trust ETF (GLD) was off 1.3% to $120.47. 

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--By Andrea Tse in New York

Follow @AndreaTTse

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