US stocks were mixed in morning trade Monday amid hopes that a political deal over the looming fiscal cliff was in the works.
Markets showed little effect from the fresh turmoil in the eurozone, after Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said he would resign in the coming days and Silvio Berlusconi threatened a comeback on an anti-austerity platform.
At around 11:30 am (1630 GMT) the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 5.64 points (0.04 percent) to 13,149.49.
The broad-market S&P 500 added 2.57 (0.18 percent) to 1,420.64, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite rose 16.29 points (0.55 percent) to 2,994.33.
Despite little significant reaction, Charles Schwab & Co. analysts said the equity markets "remain under some pressure as Italian political uncertainty flared up to cause peripheral eurozone sovereign debt crisis concerns to resurface."
Troubled Hewlett-Packard surged more than three percent on rumors that raider Carl Icahn was moving on the company.
Canadian energy firm Nexen added 14.3 percent after Canadian regulators approved its takeover by Chinese state oil giant CNOOC late Friday.
Big tech stocks were higher: Apple rose 0.2 percent, Facebook 1.5 percent, Google 1.0 percent, Cisco 2.1 percent and STMicroelectronics, which said it was leaving a joint venture with Ericsson, added 3.7 percent.
Bond prices edged higher. The 10-year US Treasury yield slipped to 1.62 percent from 1.63 percent late Friday, while the 30-year fell to 2.80 percent from 2.81 percent.
Bond prices and yields move inversely.