UPDATE 1-Energy slide batters U.S. stocks, ETFs, but pain is spread unevenly

Tue Dec 8, 2015 1:44pm EST
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(New throughout; Adds context on pipelines, options trading)

NEW YORK Dec 8 (Reuters) - Price swings in the energy market weighed on stocks and exchange-traded funds again on Tuesday, hitting the shares of oil producers for the fifth consecutive trading day.

Oil futures flipped between positive and negative during U.S. morning trading, whipsawing the markets.

Oil producers' shares have slid for a week as crude prices hit fresh lows on fears the world is running out of storage capacity and a global supply glut intensifies. Initially down as much as 3.3 percent, the S&P 500 oil sector was down 1.5 percent in the early afternoon.

Markets in energy-infrastructure stocks were active as well, as Kinder Morgan lost 6.5 percent. Investors are worried the company will cut its dividend after years of double-digit growth.

Exxon Mobil Corp fell 1.9 percent, Chevron Corp was down 1 percent and Schlumberger Ltd fell 1.2 percent.

The sell-off came as Wall Street estimates called for sharp declines in energy companies' 2014 earnings amid mounting credit stress and the slump in crude prices.

The SIG Oil Exploration and Production index hit its lowest level since March 2009 before recovering to a loss of 0.1 percent. The Market Vectors Oil Services ETF hit its lowest point since October.

The Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund shows a year-to-date loss of 22 percent, making it the worst-performing S&P 500 sector fund.   Continued...