OPEC sinks Chevron, ExxonMobil stocks in US

OPEC sinks Chevron, ExxonMobil stocks in US

Friday, November 28, 2014 8:03 pm

Nasdaq Building: oil stocks hammered

Nasdaq Building: oil stocks hammered

Energy-related stocks were hammered Friday, leaving US stocks mostly flat in a holiday-shortened session, after OPEC decided not to cut production in response to lower crude prices.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.49 point, barely creeping to a new record high at 17,828.24.

The broad-based S&P 500 slid 5.27 (0.25 percent) to 2,067.56, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index edged up 4.31 (0.09 percent) to 4,791.63.

The markets, which were closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving Day holiday, shuttered three hours early at 1800 GMT.

US oil prices dropped to a new four-year low after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries decided to maintain the status quo on output despite a decline in oil prices of more than 35 percent since June.

Dow members ExxonMobil and Chevron lost 4.2 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively. Oil services titan Halliburton plummeted 10.9 percent, while independent producer Continental Resources tanked 19.9 percent.

The weakness rippled into the industrial sector, with Dow member Caterpillar losing 4.9 percent.

But the oil price drop had an upside, as airline stocks gained on expectations that lower fuel costs would boost profits. United Continental soared 8.2 percent, American Airlines jumped 7.9 percent and Delta Air Lines gained 5.5 percent.

Leading retailers also were lifted as the kickoff of the annual holiday shopping season coincided with an OPEC decision that many analysts see as a boost to consumers’ disposable income.

Dow member Wal-Mart Stores bolted 3.0 percent higher. Target added 2.6 percent, Macy’s gained 2.2 percent and Best Buy rose 1.7 percent.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury dipped to 2.19 percent from 2.23 percent Wednesday, while the 30-year fell to 2.91 percent from 2.94 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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