U.S. stocks opened lower Monday before making tentative gains in response to French voters electing a socialist president during the weekend.
Francois Hollande will replace President Nicolas Sarkozy, who worked with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to establish new ground rules for government finances in the European Union and pushed for tough austerity budget strategies.
Stocks tumbled in parts of Asia and were mixed in Europe, with stocks rising in France and Italy. Declines were seen in Britain, Germany and Sweden.
In early afternoon trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average added 9.61 points or 0.07 percent to 13,047.60. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index gained 13.66 points or 0.46 percent to 2,970. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 4.30 points or 0.29 percent to 1,373.10.
The 10-year benchmark treasury note rose 2/32 to yield 1.88 percent.
The euro fell to $1.3056 from Friday's $1.3084. Against the yen, the dollar fell to 79.94 yen from 80.17 yen.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index dropped 2.78 percent, 261.11, to 9,119.14.
In London, the FTSE 100 index lost 1.93 percent, 111.49, to 5,655.06.