On Friday, the drop in prices of crude tugged down shares in oil and gas companies leading the S&P 500 to a small loss in a short trading session.
The S&P 500 lost 0.3% or 5.27 points to close at 2,067.56. Energy companies lost 6% as a group, the worst decline of the 10 sectors in the S&P 500.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.49 a point to 17,828.24 while the Nasdaq Composite gained less than 0.1% or 4.31 points to 4,791.63.
ABC News quoted JJ Kinahan, TD Ameritrade’s chief strategist as having said, “Crude is the big story today. There are very clear winners and losers. The Chevrons and Exxons of the world are getting hammered, then on the other side you have the shipping companies, UPS and FedEx along with the airlines. For them, it’s a beautiful story.”
This month, rising corporate profits and the steadily improving US economy have assisted to push the stock market to record levels. The S&P 500, the widely used gauge for investment performance closed November with a gain of 2.5%.
On Thursday, the US stock market was closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday. The main news driving Friday’s trading was the decision made on Thursday by the OPEC oil cartel to maintain production at 30 million barrels per day. Crude dropped a whopping 8% to $67.46 late afternoon, a low of four and a half years.
The energy math was summed up by Strategas Research Partners as “This is the season: energy down, consumer up.”
Apart from the decline in oil, it’s all about Black Friday.
Andrea Kramer, analyst at Schaeffer’s Investment Research was quoted by USA Today as having said, “Outside of commodities, Wal-Mart and its fellow retailers will be in the limelight in today’s holiday-shortened session, as traders watch for early signs of Black Friday success.
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