Try as they might, traders barely got a sniff of any gains on Tuesday.
Earnings season is upon them - and some of the first didn't smell good.
Belgium battery-maker Umicore was down 16 per cent after warning on revenue and earnings growth.
And banks slipped off six-month highs on worries their earnings may not - as one analyst put it - be 'so great' later in the week.
In the meantime, payments operator Wirecard was a top decliner ....
After German regulators lifted a ban on short-selling its stock.
The ban was imposed in February after reports it was the subject of an investigation - Wirecard denied any wrongdoing.
"The ban meant a decisive element of trading was removed. Now the ban is lifted which of course leads to temporary pressure on Wirecard's share price."
A bumper diary of key economic data is ahead - plus Boeing, Amazon, Facebook and other earnings from S&P heavyweights.
Even oil's surge to a 2019 price high did little to underpin sentiment ...
Except in London, where Shell and BP helped boost the FTSE 100 to a six-month peak.
It was bad news for airlines: Air France, EasyJet, Lufthansa and Ryanair all shed between 2 and 4 per cent.
"The oil price is increasingly becoming an additional danger for the economy. So new embargo threats by Donald Trump against Iran are not helpful."
And nor might be one of Trump's latest tweets ...
In a reminder that global trade tensions are by no means a thing of the past, he takes aim at the EU.
Its tariffs on motorbike maker Harley-Davidson: 'So unfair to the US.'
'We will,' he says, 'reciprocate!'