Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) closed down 8.7% following a downgrade by a Bank of America analyst, who cited weakness in the equipment manufacturer's energy business and a likely "severe capital spending downturn" by energy and mining stocks.
The S&P 500 closed down 1% and the S&P/TSX Composite Index lost 0.64%, while the Nasdaq rose 0.48% and the S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index gained 3.6%.
Other key markets had an Easter Monday holiday.
Meanwhile the gold price has burst above US$1,700 an ounce and was worth $1,718/oz on the spot market earlier.
Gold major Newmont (NYSE: NEM) closed 4.29% higher yesterday, touching a multi-year high intraday of $60.46.
Gold miner TMAC Resources (TSX: TMR), which has scaled down operations at its remote Hope Bay mine in Nunavut due to pandemic precautionary measures, shot up 69% to close at C$1.10 on no news.
Miners continue to be impacted by the virus, with Peru extending the country's national emergency and uranium producer Cameco (TSX: CCO) extending the suspension at its Cigar Lake mine indefinitely and withdrawing its outlook for 2020 as "the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic persist".
Cameco closed 1.38% lower.
There are now 1.77 million confirmed COVID-19 cases globally and 111,652 deaths, according to the latest figures from the World Health Organisation.