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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Wall St. up for sixth straight week despite oil rout


(Reuters) - U.S. stocks ended mostly flat in a holiday-shortened session on Friday as a massive decline in the energy sector offset strength in consumer names, but major indexes rose for a sixth straight week.
Crude oil CLc1 fell below $68 per barrel a day after OPEC decided not to cut output, which could leave markets over supplied. The 7 percent decline was the biggest one-day drop since May 2011, with prices lowest since 2010.
"Crude seems to have no floor right now, and we could easily see the price drop into the low $60s," said Tony Roth, chief investment officer at Wilmington Trust in Wilmington, Delaware.
The Energy Select Sector SPDR exchange-traded fund (XLE.P) fell 6.4 percent to $79.82 while the S&P energy index .SPNY lost 6.3 percent, extending its run as the worst-performing S&P industry group of the year. Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) lost 4.2 percent to $90.54 while Chevron Corp (CVX.N) fell 5.4 percent to $108.87; both are Dow components.
Shale energy companies saw outsized declines, as $70 oil is considered the level at which shale becomes an unprofitable alternative. Denbury Resources (DNR.N), QEP Resources (QEP.N) and Newfield Exploration (NFX.N) all lost more than 15 percent.
Oil weakness boosted airlines, which are inversely correlated to oil prices. Southwest Airlines (LUV.N) rose 6.5 percent to $41.82 as the S&P 500's biggest percentage gainer, followed by Delta Air Lines (DAL.N), up 5.5 percent to $46.67.