Stocks mostly higher, oil falls before OPEC talks

Tue Nov 25, 2014 4:58pm EST
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By Daniel Bases

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street stocks closed mixed on Tuesday with early gains pared after the lowest U.S. consumer confidence data since June took the wind out of a rally spurred by upwardly revised U.S. economic growth, dragging down the U.S. dollar in the process.

U.S. oil prices fell 2.5 percent to near four-year lows after a meeting between OPEC members Saudi Arabia and Venezuela with non-OPEC producers Russia and Mexico resulted in no deal to curb output to counter a 30 percent slump in prices since June. They agreed oil below $80 was not good and would meet again in three months. OPEC meets in Vienna on Thursday.

Earlier bets on more stimulus from the European Central Bank and the People's Bank of China helped lift European shares to a two-month high and pushed euro zone bond yields to record lows. Chinese stocks rose to their highest since 2011.

U.S. third-quarter gross domestic product growth was revised up to a 3.9 percent annual pace from the 3.5 percent reported last month, but the Conference Board, a private sector industry group, said its November consumer confidence index dropped to 88.7, a five-month low, versus forecasts for 96.0.

"It was a nice U.S. opening to new highs and then you ended up with consumer confidence giving people an excuse to take profits. That said, you do have continuing support for the bulls from the ECB's Draghi and China, which are both following the BOJ's lead which is following the U.S.'s lead for the last six years," said Mike Holland, chairman of fund company Holland & Co in New York.

On Nov. 21, ECB President Mario Draghi said if there was no improvement on inflation in coming months, the ECB would pump more money into the euro bloc if current measures fell short.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of six currencies, fell 0.28 percent to 87.907.

Brent crude fell $1.35 a barrel to settle at $78.33. U.S. crude fell $1.69 to $74.09.   Continued...

Pedestrians with umbrellas walk past an electronic board showing Japan's Nikkei average (top middle L) and the exchange rates between the Japanese yen and the U.S. dollar (top middle R), outside a brokerage in Tokyo November 11, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino