Stocks bounced around but stayed mostly unchanged in the first few minutes of trading after a painful sell-off on Wednesday.
The Dow gained as many as 50 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were each up by less than 10 points.
The plunge on Wednesday took the major stock indexes down by more than 3%, as crude oil collapsed 7%. But in the final hour of trading, stocks trimmed much of their losses, although it was still a close in the red.
West Texas Intermediate crude futures were marginally higher, near $28.34 per barrel in New York. Energy was the leading sector on the S&P 500 in early going, with a 0.54% gain, while healthcare was alone in the red.
Data on US oil inventories are expected at 11:00 a.m. ET.
This post is being updated.