U.S. Stocks Track Oil Lower as S&P 500 2015 Hinges on Last Day

U.S. stocks declined, tracking a retreat in oil, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index losing its grip on a fourth consecutive annual gain in the year’s final trading session.

The S&P 500 fell 0.5 percent to 2,052.38 at 9:32 a.m. in New York, erasing its advance for the year after losing 0.7 percent yesterday. West Texas Intermediate crude futures sank 0.6 percent, with oil headed for its biggest two-year loss on record as an expansion in U.S. crude stockpiles exacerbated a global glut.

Markets are closed tomorrow for the New Year holiday. Trading volume has been thin all week, and the number of shares changing hands on U.S. exchanges yesterday was the lowest for a full session this year.

In the absence of the so-called Santa rally in December, the S&P 500 has struggled to hold its gain this year, up only 0.2 percent through yesterday’s close. The measure has risen as much as 3.5 percent in 2015, and fallen 9.3 percent at its low in August.

Source: Bloomberg

MARKET

S&P 500 Futures Little Changed as Volatile 2015 Draws to a Close

U.S. stock-index futures were little changed, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index barely hanging on to its fourth consecutive annual gain.

S&P 500 E-mini contracts expiring in March added less than 0.1 percent to 2,055.5 at 10:43 a.m. in London. Declines in energy producers and Apple Inc. dragged the benchmark lower yesterday. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 8 points to 17,517.

Markets are closed tomorrow for the New Year holiday. Volume has been thin all week, and the number of shares changing hands on U.S. exchanges yesterday was the lowest for a full session this year.

In the absence of the so-called Santa rally in December, the S&P 500 has struggled to hold on to gains this year, up only 0.2 percent through yesterday’s close. The measure has risen as much as 3.5 percent in 2015, and fallen 9.3 percent at its low in August. The VIX Index of volatility expectations more than tripled from a July low through a peak the following month. It’s up 7.2 percent this month.

Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. were the best performers in the S&P 500 this year, both more than doubling in value. Energy shares posted the biggest losses, with Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Consol Energy Corp. tumbling at least 77 percent.

Source: Bloomberg

MARKET