Wall St. Ends 2014 With Solid Gains

Wall St. Ends 2014 With Solid Gains

Wall St. Ends 2014 With Solid GainsU.S. stocks dropped on Wednesday as crude oil prices sustained their descent. The S&P closed out a third straight year of double-digit gains.

For the year, the Dow ended up 7.5 percent, marking its sixth straight yearly gain while the Nasdaq increased 13.4 percent. The best-performing S&P component in 2014 was Southwest Airlines Co up 124.6 percent; Transocean Ltd, down 62.9 percent, was the worst.

Equities lost steam heading into the New Year after rallying nearly 6 percent over eight sessions, sparked by the U.S. Federal Reserve’s assure to be “patient” about raising interest rates and positive economic data. Still, the S&P 500 has increased in seven of the past ten sessions, hitting a series of intraday and closing records, and ended the year up 11.4 percent. The stock market will be closed Thursday.

“The reality of the matter is markets put in a solid year in spite of important headwinds that could have easily derailed a multi-year bull market,” said Peter Kenny, chief market strategist at Clearpool Group in New York. Achievement in the energy space was once again a focus for investors. U.S. crude oil settled down 85 cents at $53.27 a barrel, its lowest since May 2009. Brent settled down 57 cents to $57.33.

The S&P Energy index simply the worst performing sector of the year with a decrease of 10 percent, lost 0.8 percent Wednesday. Diamond Offshore fell 3.6 percent to $36.71 and Noble Corp fell 2.8 percent to $16.57.

U.S. stocks dropped on Wednesday as crude oil prices sustained their descent. The S&P closed out a third straight year of double-digit gains. For the year, the Dow ended up 7.5 percent, marking its sixth straight yearly gain while the Nasdaq increased 13.4 percent. The best-performing S&P component in 2014 was Southwest Airlines Co up 124.6 percent; Transocean Ltd, down 62.9 percent, was the worst. Equities lost steam heading into the New Year after rallying nearly 6 percent over ...
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