Wall Street was lower on Thursday, with the S&P 500 set to end the year with a small loss as energy stocks took a hit from a plunge in crude oil.
Trading volumes are expected to be thin on the last day of the year, with traders closing off their positions.
The rout in commodities has sent markets across the world reeling as oil prices floundered under an unprecedented global glut that may take another year to clear. [O/R]
The S&P 500 was down 0.53 percent for the year, while the Dow Jones industrial average was down 2 percent. Only the Nasdaq Composite was in positive turf, having risen 6.2 percent.
“As we close out of the year, it’s been a tale of two tapes, with narrow leadership holding up the major indices, while the vast majority of the market continues to underperform,” said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of Sarhan Capital in New York.
“The big story today as investors wrap up the year is that after all that’s said and done, it’s a flat year for the S&P 500,” Sarhan said.
The top three performers on the Dow are also consumer stocks, led by Nike’s (NKE.N) 31 percent rise.
The S&P energy sector .SPNY, on the other hand, lost nearly 24 percent, followed by a near 10 percent loss in materials .SPLRCM.
Eight of the 10 worst performers on the S&P this year are energy companies, led by Chesapeake Energy’s (CHK.N) 78 percent decline.
At 11:01 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was down 122.21 points, or 0.69 percent, at 17,481.66, the S&P 500 .SPX was down 12.74 points, or 0.62 percent, at 2,050.62 and the Nasdaq Composite index .IXIC was down 32.30 points, or 0.64 percent, at 5,033.55.
All 10 major S&P sectors were lower, led by the 1.53 percent fall in the utilities sector .SPLRCU.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,847 to 1,054. On the Nasdaq, 1,697 issues fell and 1,008 rose.
The S&P 500 index showed no new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 15 new highs and 41 new lows.