Wall Street spent Friday's session making small moves ahead of a long holiday weekend.
Investors were also reluctant to add to positions after the biggest weekly stock surge in weeks.
Escalating tensions between the U.S. and China pushed investors further to the sidelines.
On Friday, the U.S. Commerce Department said it was adding 33 Chinese entities to an economic blacklist for human rights violations and national security concerns.
The Dow closed the day with a small loss, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq saw minor upticks.
The market's recent movements are like a tango, says Ed Cofrancesco, CEO, International Assets Advisory.
"We're going to take a couple of steps forward like we have in the last couple of weeks. But every time we take a couple of steps forward we're going to take another step back. We don't know what the unemployment looks like. We just don't know what the recovery looks like. I think the market wants to be enthusiastic but there's going to be a lot of caution and I think today's market is a perfect example of that."
In corporate headlines: General Motors is scaling back plans for a full resumption of production at several plans due to supply shortages out of Mexico, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters. But in a positive sign, demand for large pickup trucks are outpacing other models in parts of the country less impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
U.S. markets will be closed Monday for Memorial Day, when trading resumes on Tuesday, part of the iconic New York Stock Exchange will be up and running for the first time since the floor was closed in March to prevent the spread of COVID-19.