S&P 500 2,441.20 17.28
Gold$1,224.80 $5.30
Nasdaq 6,253.81 61.92
Crude Oil $60,490.00      $-1570.00
Market Update

S&P 500 Nears Record Close, Oil and Gold Turn Lower

Author: Nichole Harper
Last Update: 2:35 PM ET December 22 2014

2:25 PM New York Stocks on Wall Street advanced after a rally in oil price lifted energy complex. However, the early rally in oil and gold, silver and copper faded and prices of commodities declined in the afternoon. European and Asian markets closed higher.

U.S. stocks advanced after a rally in technology and energy stocks and early oil price advance petered out and commodities turned negative.

Energy explorers and refiners lee the charge after Saudi Arabia clarified that it has no plan to cut production and urged non-OPEC oil producers to lower oil production.

Oil price has collapsed 50% from its peak in summer and traders are forecasting that after a brief rally the oil is expected to resume its slide towards $40 a barrel.

In addition, Australia lowered its estimate of iron ore price for the third time this year.

Australias iron ore export price is expected to dip to $63 a metric ton compared to the previous government forecast of $94 a ton, the Department of Industry said in a report today.

Iron ore prices this year have averaged $88 a ton, and the price of the ore with 62% content and free-on-board has dropped 49% in 2014.

China, the largest buyer of Australian iron ore, has been slowing down its economy and the demand is expected to weaken further from the second-largest economy in the world.

The government had earlier estimated price of the iron ore at $103 a ton in March and lowered its estimate to $97 a ton in June before the third revision today.

The report also estimated iron ore shipment to decline to $176 billion in the year to June from the previous estimate of $192.4 billion.

On Wall Street trading, Tollbooth Strategy Index gained 0.6% or 57.43 to 10,054.20.

S&P 500 index slid 0.14 or 0.01% to 2,070.52 and the Nasdaq Composite Index edged up 3.47 or 0.07% to 4,768.50.

The National Association of Realtors said seasonally adjusted annual rate for existing home sales in November declined 6.1% to 4.93 million from downwardly-revised 5.25 million in October.

The price of future for the immediate month delivery increased 3% to $56.34 a barrel and gold edged up 0.2% to $1,196.70.

U.S. Movers

Anthem Inc (ANTM), the health insurer agreed to acquire Simply Healthcare Holdings, Inc. for undisclosed financial terms.

The acquisition is expected to close in the first-half of 2015.

The company forecasted net income per share to be within the range of $8.83 to $8.93.

Caesars Entertainment Corp (CZR), the diversified casino-entertainment provider signed agreement to merge affiliate Caesars Acquisition Company in an all-stock transaction.

Raytheon Company (RTN), the defense and homeland security provider secured Foreign Military Sales contract worth $2.4 billion for new-production fire units of the combat-proven Patriot Air and Missile Defense System for the State of Qatar.

European Markets

In London trading, FTSE 100 index gained 0.4% or 28.67 to 6,573.94 and in Frankfurt the DAX index increased 0.6% or 56.69 to 9,843.65.

In Paris, CAC 40 index rose 0.2% or 8.01 to 4,249.66.

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Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc