Oil rout and strong dollar pare gains - New York Report

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A slump in oil prices and fears over a strong dollar pared back gains in New York yesterday – although the indices did halt a three-day slide.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 82.45 points, or 0.47 per cent, to 17,574.75, the S&P 500 gained 4.61 points, or 0.23 per cent, to 2,052.23 and the Nasdaq Composite added 22.31 points, or 0.44 per cent, to 5,045.17.

Major US indices have had a bruising week as a rout in oil prices made investors worry about economic growth.

Oil futures fell to fresh lows since 2009 as traders looked beyond a drop in US crude stockpiles to focus on a global supply glut, while a stronger dollar weighed on commodities.

After settling down 1.1 per cent, US crude oil fell further, pushing the S&P well off its session highs. Investors are worried about a spill-over effect from oil to the rest of the economy and see a strong dollar hurting corporate earnings, said JJ Feldman, portfolio manager at Los Angeles-based Miracle Mile Advisors.

“People are still worried about the Fed and what’s going to happen next week. It’s been a tough week and rallies just don’t stick,” he said.

Some investors seem to be looking for energy stock bargains as they eye a bottom in oil prices. “The short sellers ran out of ammunition and probably took a breather,” said Uri Landesman, of Platinum Partners in New York.

Today, investors will likely focus on November retail sales data, which includes the start of the crucial holiday shopping season.

Men’s Wearhouse fell 16.97 per cent to $15.27 a day after the retailer warned it may miss the lower end of its fourth-quarter forecast.

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