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Crude Oil $60,490.00      $-1570.00
Market Update

Stocks on Wall Street Struggle, World Markets Turn Cautious on Oil Weakness

Author: Nichole Harper
Last Update: 11:49 AM ET December 21 2015

11:45 AM New York City, New York – Stocks on Wall Street lacked conviction and broader market indexes are still in the negative territory in the year so far. Uncertainties linked to the U.S. rates and falling energy prices are the latest worries sapping the market momentum in addition to the slowing growth in China.

Market indexes in New York opened higher but struggled to hold on to advances after two days of steep losses.

Investors have been cautious in the last five weeks despite the first rate hike in the U.S. in a decade overshadowed by the falling energy prices for the third year in a row and slowing growth in China.

And the uncertainties linked to the future direction of the U.S. rate has also played to the market jitters.

For the year so far, the S&P 500 index is down about 2.5% and the Dow has dropped nearly 3.9%.

The tech heavy Nasdaq is up 3.9% in the year so far and Tollbooth Strategy is up 5.7% in the period.

On Wall Street, Tollbooth Strategy Index increased 59.45 or 0.6% to 10,645.24.

S&P 500 index gained 8.23 or 0.4% to 2,013.58 and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 22.73 or 0.5% to 4,946.27.

Crude oil in New York fell 39 cents to $34.34 a barrel and gold soared $12.41 to $1,078.66 an ounce.

U.S. Movers

Carnival Corp (CCL) jumped 2.5% or $1.31 to $53.74 after the cruise operator reported revenues in the fourth-quarter ending in November was flat from a year ago to $3.71 billion.

Net in the quarter swung to profit $270 million or 35 cents per diluted share compared to a loss of $104 million or 13 cents per share from the same quarter last year.

Icahn Enterprises LP (IEP) rose 26 cents to $63.55 after the investment company lifted its offer for The Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack of $16.50 per share or about $919 million in cash.

The current offer is higher than the Japan-based tyre maker Bridgestone Corp''''s offer of $15.50 per share.

Staples, Inc (SPLS) advanced 2.5% or 23 cents to $9.53 after the retail and online shopping platform provider said the U.S. regulator rejected its revised higher offer to divest up to $1.25 billion worth commercial contracts to secure an approval for its acquisition of smaller rival Office Depot Inc.

European Markets

European shares broadly advanced despite the disappointing election results in Spain and the ongoing decline in oil prices.

Volkswagen, Ericsson, and ITV led the markets in positive territory. Trading volumes remained predictably low in the holiday-shortened week.

In Spain, elections added to the overall uncertainty as results were inconclusive and none of the major parties won a clear mandate.

The Spanish IBEX 35 index fell 2.6% to 9.454, while the yields on the 10-year government bond jumped 9 basis points to 1.775% after the election results.

Brent crude oil price hit an 11-year low on Monday due to sharp increases in global supply. Russia has increased its daily production to 10 million barrels a day and OPEC member nations agreed to hold daily production target of 31.7 million barrels a day.

In addition, Iran is set to add at least one million barrel a day production in the export market and Libya is heading for higher production after the latest peace deal.

Moreover, shale energy producers in the U.S. are still holding on to production levels despite the near 45% decline in oil prices.

Brent futures for immediate month delivery plunged 1.9% to $36.18 per barrel, the lowest level since 2004.

In London trading, FTSE 100 index increased 53.07 or 0.9% to 6,105.48 and in Frankfurt the DAX index rose 93.67 or 0.9% to 10,702.04.

In Paris, CAC 40 index gained 20.66 or 0.4% to 4,646.05.

TeliaSonera AB gained 1% to 42.21 Swedish kronor after the Sweden-based communication services agreed to sell its 60.4% stake in the Nepalese operator Ncell to Axiata, one of Asia’s largest telecommunication groups for about $1.03 billion in a cash and debt free transaction.

As part of the transaction, Visor will also sell its 19.6% stake in Ncell to Axiata.

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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