Shares of energy companies were more or less flat as traders digested oil supply data from earlier in the week.

One strategist said recent conventional wisdom about the impact of events in Israel overstate the correlation between events in the Middle East and the price of the commodity.

"The reality is...the big spike actually occurred before the attack in October," said Oliver Pursche, senior vice president at financial advisory Wealthspire.

"Then, it fell sharply. We went below $70 a barrel in December. So I think it's a lot more complicated to point to the exact reasons why oil is trading the way it is than simply saying 'Middle East.'"

Italian oil-and-gas company Eni posted a decline in first-quarter net profit, missing analysts' expectations for the first three months of the year.

U.S. natural gas futures plunged by the largest increment since mid-January, amid fears of an increase in stockpiles.

Write to Rob Curran at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-24-24 1712ET