Wall Street was lower on Wednesday as Brent crude slid back towards the 11-year low it hit last week and Apple weighed on all three major indexes.
Crude oil gave up its gains from Tuesday after forecasts of a short winter in North America and Europe piled pressure on the oversupplied commodity, Reuters reports. The S&P 500 energy sector led nine of the 10 major S&P sectors lower with a 1.14 percent decline. Shares of Exxon were down 0.8 percent at $78.56, while Chevron was down 1.2 percent at $90.11.
The energy sector has fallen 23.54 percent for the year, easily the worst performer on the index, followed by a 9.17 percent decline in materials, caused by a rout in commodities. Trading volumes are expected to remain thin on the last trading days of the year.
“The next few days, you’re not going to get a lot of action here,” said Jeff Kravetz, regional investment director at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Phoenix, Arizona. “Traders are ready to tie a bow on 2015 very happily, because it was one of those years when most asset classes didn’t work,” he said.
At 11:06 a.m. ET (1606 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was down 31.42 points, or 0.18 percent, at 17,689.56, the S&P 500 was down 5.26 points, or 0.25 percent, at 2,073.1 and the Nasdaq Composite index was down 16.42 points, or 0.32 percent, at 5,091.52. Apple was the biggest drag on all three indexes, falling 1.3 percent to $107.31. Concerns about potentially soft iPhone sales have hit the stock in recent weeks.
The S&P 500 stayed in positive territory for the year, up a marginal 0.52 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite was up 7.33 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average, however, was down 0.91 percent in 2015. Data showed pending home sales fell 0.9 percent in November, after inching up 0.2 percent in October. Economists had expected a 0.5 percent rise in November.
Pep Boys was down 3 percent at $18.38. Carl Icahn agreed to buy the auto parts maker for about $1.03 billion, after Japan‘s Bridgestone said it would not counter his offer. Icahn Enterprises was down 1.5 percent at $60.60. Fairchild Semiconductor was up 3.3 percent at $20.68 after it received a revised offer from the Party G Group, with new terms on termination fees if the takeover fails to secure regulatory approvals.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,814 to 1,049. On the Nasdaq, 1,635 issues fell and 987 rose. The S&P 500 index showed 13 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 35 new highs and 31 new lows.