Amazon.com was the top stock on the S&P and the Nasdaq, with a 0.5 percent gain. While the market's "fear gauge" slipped 4.6% on the week and 4.3% on the month, it surrendered 11.9% in the first quarter.
Crude oil prices were over $50 a barrel; almost 1 percent higher.
-The euro fell 0.8 percent to $1.0681 for a third day of declines. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 1 point, or 0.1 per cent, to 2,366.
Financial shares surged 1.5 percent, with Bank of America and JPMorgan propping up the S&P 500.
-The peso added 0.1 percent o 18.6916, while the rand weakened in late trading on reports of the shakeup that could include Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.
S&P 500 gained 6.93 points or 0.29% to end at 2368.06 levels. "March appears to just be a natural pullback at the minute, but it's still early to say", said Erlam.
A record-setting rally for stocks in the wake of President Donald Trump's November election stalled this month, with some investors pointing to risks to Trump's agenda, including tax reform, after his fellow Republicans failed to pass a healthcare bill.
"There was plenty of United States data for investors to deal with this afternoon; they just weren't that interested", suggested Connor Campbell at spread betting firm Spreadex. The drop wiped out the metal's gains for the month.
Brexit guidelines: European Union hands Spain power over Gibraltar's future
And on Wednesday, British Prime Minister Theresa May pledged her support for Gibraltar . The Gibraltar question remains a fractious one for the U.K. -Spain relationship.
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard will speak today, while Wall Street digests the Chicago purchasing managers index (PMI) and the Thomson Reuters/University of MI consumer sentiment report.
In between, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari will hold a question-and-answer session at the Annual Banking Law Institute in Minneapolis at 10 a.m. The stock added $5.22 to $37.96.
DOUBLE DEAL: FMC has agreed to buy part of DuPont's crop protection business, while DuPont buys FMC's health and nutrition unit. Shares of FMC rose 5.7% in premarket trading, while DuPont was slightly higher.
But don't look to FANG (Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Netflix (NFLX) and Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google) stocks to be the market leaders; instead the quarter's biggest gainers were semiconductor companies, which were largely driven higher by strong earnings results. One of the best quarterly performances in the region came from the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index, which finished up 9.6%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) spent the entire session trading lower, weighed down by a sharp decline for energy stock Exxon Mobil - even as oil prices recovered from earlier losses.
The Nasdaq Composite was showing the other indexes a clean pair of heels in lunchtime trading.
The South African rand was under pressure against the US dollar Friday after Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was sacked (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/south-africas-zuma-sacks-finance-chief-in-midnight-ministerial-massacre-2017-03-31) early Friday by South African President Jacob Zuma.