Stocks down for fourth month running; oil up

Mon Feb 29, 2016 5:27pm EST
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By Dion Rabouin

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A gauge of stocks across the globe on Monday posted its fourth straight month of declines, while crude oil notched its first positive month since October.

Gold closed February with a gain of more than 10 percent, the most for any month in four years.

Stocks rose through most of the U.S. session after China's central bank resumed its easing cycle by injecting an estimated $100 billion worth of long-term cash into the economy.

But Wall Street sold off into the close and the global stocks gauge finished in the red.

Equity markets so far this year have been strongly correlated with crude oil futures, which earlier this month tanked to decade lows. On Monday, however, U.S. stocks reversed the correlation and fell as investors took profits on last equity week's gains.

"The market's had a big run, so I don't think it's anything drastic, just lightening up after a big pop," said J.J. Feldman, portfolio manager at Miracle Mile Advisors in Los Angeles.

On Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 123.47 points, or 0.74 percent, to 16,516.5, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 15.82 points, or 0.81 percent, to 1,932.23 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 32.52 points, or 0.71 percent, to 4,557.95.

For the month, the Dow rose 0.3 percent, the S&P 500 lost 0.4 percent and the Nasdaq lost 1.2 percent.   Continued...

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) February 29, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid