Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., January 26, 2022.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., January 26, 2022. Reuters / BRENDAN MCDERMID

U.S. stocks closed down on Monday after flip-flopping throughout afternoon trading, as investors contrasted Bank of America's positive earnings with surging bond yields ahead of further earnings cues this week.

Market participants are bracing for a barrage of earnings that will help them assess the impact of the Ukraine war and a spike in inflation on company financials. Netflix, Tesla, Johnson & Johnson and International Business Machines are all to report this week.

Combined with thin trading volumes after the Easter break, with European markets remaining shut on Monday, this contributed to the topsy-turvy trading session.

"The market is looking for some direction. Do we get it from earnings - maybe. But the overarching factors continue to be what does China look like with its zero-COVID policy, and what does the Fed look like going forward in terms of interest rates and inflation," said Jack Janasiewicz, portfolio manager and lead portfolio strategist at Natixis Investment Managers.

"It's going to be some time before either one gives us any clear direction. With that backdrop, I'm not shocked if we just continue to trade in a range."

Bank of America rounded out earnings season for the big Wall Street banks, reporting strong growth in its consumer lending business, although its investment banking unit took a hit from a slowdown in deal making.

Its share price rose, while the broader S&P 500 banks index also gained.

Megacap stocks such as Apple Inc and Meta Platforms slipped as the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield climbed to 2.85%, after hitting 2.884% earlier on Monday, the highest since Dec. 2018.[US/]

Shares of market-leading technology and growth companies have come under pressure as expectations of a string of interest rate hikes threaten to erode their future earnings.

Tesla, however, rose as it prepares to reopen its Shanghai plant following a near three-week COVID shutdown.

A majority of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower.

The energy index was one of the few outliers. Crude prices gained and Brent topped $114 a barrel at one point on outages in Libya deepening concerns over tight global supply. Refining names were among the best performers, including Valero Energy Corp, Phillips 66 and Marathon Petroleum Corp. [O/R]

According to preliminary data, the S&P 500 .SPX> gained 0.02 points, or 0.02%, to end at 4,391.65 points, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 17.67 points, or 0.14%, to 13,331.92. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 34.77 points, or 0.10%, to 34,416.46.

Charles Schwab Corp fell after the financial services company missed quarterly profit estimates.

Twitter rose as the micro blogging site adopted "poison pill" on Friday to restrict Tesla CEO Elon Musk from raising his stake to beyond 15% for a one-year period.

Didi Global Inc slumped after the Chinese ride hailing company said it will hold an extraordinary general meeting on May 23 to vote on its delisting plans in the United States.