Global stocks slip, but post best month in four years; oil gains

Fri Oct 30, 2015 4:44pm EDT
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By Rodrigo Campos and Herbert Lash

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil gained on Friday while stocks on Wall Street closed lower even as major U.S. and European stock indices posted their best month in at least four years, boosted in part by accommodative monetary policies in the euro zone and Japan.

Oil prices rose after the U.S. oil rig count fell for a ninth straight week, indicating potentially lower crude output in coming months in the face of a global supply glut.

The dollar slipped after data showing U.S. consumer spending in September recorded its smallest gain in eight months as personal income barely rose, suggesting some cooling in domestic demand after recent hefty increases.

European shares closed slightly higher, with the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 up 0.01 percent at 1,484.46, while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index .STOXX50E rose 0.14 percent to 3,418.23. The two indices posted their best monthly gains in more than six years.

MSCI's all-country world index .MIWD00000PUS of stock performance in 46 countries retreated at the close, falling 0.11 percent. But the indice posted its best monthly gain since October 2011, the same as the three major U.S. indices. All four indices posted gains of 7.7 percent or more in October.

Financial stocks led the decline on Wall Street as falling prices accelerated at the close. Traders had focused on heavy sell orders posted for the close, said Ken Polcari, director of the NYSE floor division at O'Neil Securities in New York.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI closed down 92.26 points, or 0.52 percent, to 17,663.54. The S&P 500 .SPX fell 10.05 points, or 0.48 percent, to 2,079.36 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC lost 20.53 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,053.75.

"The burning question on everybody's lips is very simply, what is going to happen at the end of the year, are we going to get the Santa Claus rally?" said Andrew Wilkinson, chief market strategist at Interactive Brokers LLC in Greenwich, Connecticut.   Continued...

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange October 30, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid