It was the home side who started the match the stronger with Sebastian Larsson delivering a series of dangerous crosses into the box, but Wolves repelled the early danger.
Larsson came close himself after nine minutes with an effort from inside the box, but it drifted just wide.
Wolves were not without their chances in the early period of the match, however, and Michael Kightly fired wide with an effort after 12 minutes.
James McClean was next to come close for Sunderland after 16 minutes, but his effort from 25 yards just missed the post.
Wolves continued to struggle as the half advanced, and Craig Gardner headed just over as Sunderland continued to dominate.
Larsson tested the palms of Wayne Hennessey after 21 minutes, before McLean was denied by the Wolves stopper five minutes later.
Stephane Sessegnon might have given the home side the lead after 31 minutes, before Kightly struck wide for Wolves in the latter stages of the half.