November 25, 2014 / 12:20 AM / 6 years ago

Stocks mostly higher, oil falls before OPEC talks

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street stocks closed mixed on Tuesday with early gains pared after the lowest U.S. consumer confidence data since June took the wind out of a rally spurred by upwardly revised U.S. economic growth, dragging down the U.S. dollar in the process.

Pedestrians with umbrellas walk past an electronic board showing Japan's Nikkei average (top middle L) and the exchange rates between the Japanese yen and the U.S. dollar (top middle R), outside a brokerage in Tokyo November 11, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

U.S. oil prices fell 2.5 percent to near four-year lows after a meeting between OPEC members Saudi Arabia and Venezuela with non-OPEC producers Russia and Mexico resulted in no deal to curb output to counter a 30 percent slump in prices since June. They agreed oil below $80 was not good and would meet again in three months. OPEC meets in Vienna on Thursday.

Earlier bets on more stimulus from the European Central Bank and the People’s Bank of China helped lift European shares to a two-month high and pushed euro zone bond yields to record lows. Chinese stocks rose to their highest since 2011.

U.S. third-quarter gross domestic product growth was revised up to a 3.9 percent annual pace from the 3.5 percent reported last month, but the Conference Board, a private sector industry group, said its November consumer confidence index dropped to 88.7, a five-month low, versus forecasts for 96.0.

“It was a nice U.S. opening to new highs and then you ended up with consumer confidence giving people an excuse to take profits. That said, you do have continuing support for the bulls from the ECB’s Draghi and China, which are both following the BOJ’s lead which is following the U.S.’s lead for the last six years,” said Mike Holland, chairman of fund company Holland & Co in New York.

On Nov. 21, ECB President Mario Draghi said if there was no improvement on inflation in coming months, the ECB would pump more money into the euro bloc if current measures fell short.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of six currencies, fell 0.28 percent to 87.907.

Brent crude fell $1.35 a barrel to settle at $78.33. U.S. crude fell $1.69 to $74.09.

“It’s pretty clear from today’s meeting that the Saudis don’t want a cut and there’s not going to be one,” said John Kilduff, partner at New York energy hedge fund Again Capital.

Russia has been pressuring OPEC to slash production, offering to cut its own output, while Saudi Arabia has not said whether it will agree to any cuts.


The U.S. data took some of the momentum away from Wall Street, while European share prices managed to hold onto the plus column. Asian shares were mixed.

After a promising start, U.S. shares ended mostly lower. Apple Inc. was the biggest single drag on the benchmark S&P 500 stock index, closing down 0.9 percent at $117.60, while as a group, energy shares were the weakest sector.

By the close of trade, the S&P 500 had lost 2.38 points, or 0.12 percent, to 2,067.03. The Dow Jones industrial average ended down 2.96 points, or 0.02 percent, to 17,814.94, but the Nasdaq Composite bucked the trend, adding 3.36 points, or 0.07 percent, to 4,758.25.

The Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.4 percent but MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.4 percent.

Europe’s main share indexes closed with modest gains. Britain’s FTSE 100 eked out a positive close while Germany’s DAX index rose 0.8 percent after reaching its highest since July while France’s CAC 40 held a gain of 0.3 percent after reaching its highest since late September.

“There are real risks of recession and deflation, but there are also reasons to believe that 2015 will be a better year for the euro zone than this year has been,” said Kerry Craig, a global markets strategist at JP Morgan, noting central bank easing policies that are driving market sentiment.

Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasuries were up 13/32 in price, pushing the yield down to 2.26 percent.

The euro advanced on the greenback after the U.S. consumer confidence data, gaining 0.25 percent to $1.2473.

Gold rose $3.61 to $1,200.71 an ounce.

Additional reporting by Marc Jones in London and Shinichi Saoshiro in Tokyo; Editing by James Dalgleish

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