Wall St. up, other markets steady ahead of Fed; oil slips

Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:00pm EST
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By Sam Forgione

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks climbed but other major world equity markets were little changed on Thursday ahead of a widely expected interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve next week, and oil resumed its slide due to persistent worries about weak demand and a supply glut.

Oil prices fell to near seven-year lows and overall markets were more subdued as investors looked ahead to the Fed's Dec. 15-16 policy meeting.

U.S. crude fell as worries over a global glut persisted and prices were seen as vulnerable to further weakness in the run-up to year-end.

Brent crude LCOc1 was last down 1.5 percent at $39.52 a barrel. U.S. crude CLc1 settled down 1.1 percent at $36.76.

"People are focused on two things right now: they’re looking at commodity prices, they’re looking at interest rates, and they're tying to figure out how that is going to impact growth heading into next year," said Bryan Novak, portfolio manager at Astor Investment Management in Chicago.

MSCI's all-country world equity index .MIWD00000PUS, which tracks shares in 45 nations, was last down 0.1 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 0.47 percent to 17,574.75, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.23 percent, to 2,052.23 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC rose 0.44 percent to 5,045.17.

European shares steadied after touching a two-month low, with retailers and technology firms under pressure as commodity shares stabilized. Europe's broad FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 fell 0.2 percent to 1,428.08.   Continued...

Traders work shortly after the opening bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in the Manhattan borough of New York, December 8, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson