Oil falls on Goldman call, stocks mixed before Fed meeting

Fri Sep 11, 2015 4:42pm EDT
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By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Crude oil fell on Friday after Goldman Sachs slashed its price forecast through next year, while global equity markets traded mixed as investors assessed the economic outlook and a potential move by the Federal Reserve next week to raise interest rates.

A drop in U.S. consumer sentiment in September to its lowest in a year initially weighed on Wall Street, as the University of Michigan's preliminary reading for the month slid to 85.7, compared with the final reading of 91.9 in August and much lower than the median forecast of 91.2 of economists polled by Reuters.

Stocks in Europe fell but still recorded the biggest weekly rise since July. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 closed down 1.0 percent at 1,401.07, and MSCI's all-country world stock index .MIWD00000PUS was flat.

Wall Street rebounded in thin trade ahead of the Fed's policy-setting meeting Sept. 16-17. The S&P 500 posted its biggest weekly gain since July.

A small majority of forecasters predict the Fed will raise rates for the first time in nearly a decade, even though models suggest concerns about market volatility and economic growth will delay monetary policy tightening.

A Reuters poll of 72 economists showed a slight majority expects rates to rise from the current 0-0.25 percent.

"The knee-jerk reaction on the Fed lift-off is negative," said Phil Orlando, chief equity strategist at Federated Investors in New York. "We think the Fed lift-off is a positive for the economy and stocks, because it means the Fed is rubber-stamping the fact they truly believe the economy is strong enough."

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI closed up 102.69 points, or 0.63 percent, to 16,433.09. The S&P 500 .SPX rose 8.75 points, or 0.45 percent, to 1,961.04 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 26.09 points, or 0.54 percent, to 4,822.34.   Continued...

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange September 11, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid