About 25 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 25,406.97, up 0.3 per cent. The S&P 500 is just 3 percent below the record highs hit on January 26 and the Dow is 4.8 percent away from its peak.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq, by contrast, gained around 0.4 percent, helped in part by what traders read as further signs of official disapproval of Broadcom's $117 billion bid for U.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 61 cents to $61.44 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, used to price global oils, shed 56 cents to $64.93 per barrel. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 68 cents, or 2.6 percent, lower than market expectations.
Wall Street's main indexes closed up almost 2 percent on Friday after data showed USA job additions in February grew by a strong clip but wage growth was sluggish.
It had also risen against the euro (+0.2pc), but was steady against the British pound and Japanese yen.
The Dow Jones industrial average gave back 132 points, or 0.5 percent, to 25,199.
The Australian dollar had risen by 0.4 per cent to 77.8 U.S. cents about 7:15am AEDT.
Half the S&P sectors finished lower, with industrials being the weakest performer, down 0.9 per cent.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.88 percent.
Shares of Broadcom jumped 3.2 per cent after a Wall Street Journal report that Intel is considering bidding for the chip company, which has undertaken a hostile campaign to buy Qualcomm.
Starbucks rose 1.4 percent early Monday and Micron Technology rose 5.3 percent.
Johnson Controls was up 1.6 percent after saying it would consider selling a business that makes batteries for vehicles.
The S&P 500 rose 7 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,793. The Nasdaq composite gained 26 points, or 0.4 percent, to 7,588, another record high.