Stocks were slightly higher, though were far from session highs as the health care sector weighed on broader markets.
The S&P 500 was up 0.2%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.3%, and the Nasdaq added 0.26%.
The health care sector was a drag on Wall Street, led by another dip in Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) . The drugmaker fell after CEO Michael Pearson was subpoenaed over an investigation into price increases for certain prescription drugs. Pearson will be questioned by the Senate Committee on Aging at an April 27 hearing.
Other health care stocks including Celgene (CELG - Get Report) , Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN - Get Report) and Anthem (ANTM - Get Report) were lower. The Health Care SPDR ETF (XLV - Get Report) slipped 0.4%.
Crude broke free from range-bound trading to touch its highest since March 23 after Russia said it anticipates flat crude output next year. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that output would likely increase in 2016 but would level out by 2017. West Texas Intermediate crude oil added 1.1% to $40.15 a barrel.
However, investors remained wary ahead of a weekend meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Commodity traders hope OPEC members can agree upon a production freeze when they meet on April 17 in Doha, Qatar. Some analysts remain skeptical a deal can be reached.
"Rising Iraqi output and exports cast further doubts on the potential effects of the upcoming global producer meeting," said Austin Sapp, commodity analyst at Schneider Electric. "While talk of a production freeze among major suppliers has provided some support to prices in recent weeks, March increases in Iraqi crude oil production and exports ... have reinforced the notion that oversupply is poised to hold steady or even grow in the near-term."
The reporting season will kick off in earnest after markets close Monday when unofficial bell-ringer Alcoa (AA - Get Report) reports. The mining giant is expected to show a fall in earnings and revenue for its third quarter in a row.
Overall first-quarter earnings for companies in the S&P 500 are expected to fall 7.9%, their fourth straight quarter in decline and the steepest decline since the second quarter of 2009. Excluding the energy sector, earnings are forecast to fall 3.6%. Only three S&P 500 sectors are expected to have positive earnings growth: consumer discretionary, telecommunications, and health care.
"If analyst estimates are correct, it is likely to be the worst quarter of EPS results for the index thus far this cycle," Wells Fargo analysts wrote in a note. "Results from the energy sector remain troubling for index earnings at large."
Tesla (TSLA - Get Report) fell slightly after the automaker announced a voluntary recall of 2,700 Model X vehicles built before March 26 at its Fremont, Calif.-based factory. The company said the backseat could collapse in an accident, though knows of no such real-life incidents.
Canadian Pacific (CP) climbed 3.8% after walking away from its bid to purchase Norfolk Southern (NSC - Get Report) . The U.S. Justice Department recently had called for a third-party regulator to reject a proposed voting trust arrangement in the terms of the deal. The company had offered an unsolicited bid of $28 billion for the fourth-largest railroad company in the U.S. around six months ago.
Hertz (HTZ - Get Report) tumbled 11% after warning that it anticipates revenue from car rentals in the U.S. to be weaker than expected this year. The car-rental company expects revenue per available car day to fall between 2.5% and 3.5% in the first quarter and to come in flat or down 1.5% for the full year.
Yahoo! (YHOO) added 1.7% after the U.K.'s Daily Mail confirmed Monday it's a suitor for the Internet company's assets. The newspaper joins a number of interested companies, most notably Verizon (VZ - Get Report) , which will tender preliminary offers by the April 18 deadline.
"I like the fact that this is the first piece to acknowledge that a weaker dollar might play a role in a potential upside surprise," said TheStreet's Jim Cramer, portfolio manager of the Action Alerts Plus charitable trust. "I do want to see some growth in Youtube, though."