Investment bank Goldman Sachs lowered its forecast for oil prices because of ample supply and weaker demand. Crude oil fell 1 cent to close at $81 a barrel after starting the day sharply lower. Business confidence in Germany declined for a sixth straight month.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped two points, or 0.2 per cent, to close at 1,961. Energy and materials companies fell the most.
The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 12 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 16,817. The Nasdaq rose two points, or 0.1 per cent, to 4,485. The energy sector was down 2 per cent compared with a 0.2 per cent decline in the broader S&P 500.