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Wall Street ends choppy session mixed as investors await tax bill developments

  • Crude oil falls ahead of OPEC meeting, weighs on energy shares.
  • Retailers extend gains on Cyber-Monday. 
  • Senate is expected to vote on tax bill later this week.

Although they edged higher to fresh record peaks in the first hour following the opening bell, major equity indexes failed to preserve their momentum and finished the day a little changed as investors took a cautious stance awaiting fresh developments surrounding the tax bill.

“You have got this continuous background of tax reform, but underlying that, if you just take your eyes off that for a moment and look at the other fundamentals of the economy and the world economy, things look very positive,” Peter Andersen, chief investment officer with Fiduciary Trust Company in Boston, told Reuters on Monday. Earlier in the session, Republican Senator Orrin Grant Hatch told reporters that they were hoping to get the tax bill finished by Christmas.

As speculations surrounding a possible extension to OPEC/non-OPEC output cut deal ahead of the critical meeting later this week heat up, crude oil prices struggled to extend last week's rally. The barrel of West Texas Intermediate settled at $58.11, down $0.84, and weighed on the S&P 500 Energy Index (SPNY), which lost1.03% on the day.

On the other hand, on the back of robust online sales during Black Friday, Amazon shares gained more than 1% on the first day of the week, allowing the S&P 500 Retailing Index (SPXRT) to become the best performing sector with a 0.6% increase.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 23.67 points, or 0.1%, to 23,581.66, the S&P 500 dropped 0.89 points, or 0.03%, to 2,601.53 and the Nasdaq Composite lost 10.70 points, or 0.16%, to 6,878.46.


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