Stocks closed mixed on Wednesday, the last day of the month, as energy stocks surging on an OPEC deal to cut production, while investors digested solid economic data.
The Dow Jones industrial average briefly rose 100 points, hitting a new record intraday high of 19,225.29, before closing about 2 points higher as Goldman Sachs, Chevron and DuPont contributed the most gains. The S&P 500 closed about 0.25 percent lower, after also reaching record levels, with energy spiking about nearly 5 percent to lead advancers. The Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) also popped nearly 5.1 percent. A 3.18 percent fall in utilities, however, offset energy's sharp gains.
"It feels like the market is doing the end-of-the-month dance," said Art Hogan, chief market Strategist at Wunderlich Securities. "A bit of a giveback here on the last day of the month makes sense. Tomorrow, a new month starts and December has some pretty good cyclicals."
"There are two things going on. You're seeing rates continue to push higher and that's starting to cause more of a headwind as we move closer to this rate decision," said Daniel Deming, managing director at KKM Financial. "Also, we've been seeing the Nasdaq weaken all day, creating further weakness in the overall market."
The Nasdaq composite underperformed, sliding around 1 percent as the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) fell more than 2 percent. Both the Nasdaq and S&P had traded higher earlier in the session.
That said, the three major U.S. indexes recorded sharp monthly gains, with the Nasdaq and S&P notching their best month since July, while the Dow had its best month since March.
OPEC agreed to cut production by approximately 1.2 million barrels per day, or about 4.5 percent of current production. U.S. crude futures for January delivery spiked 9.31 percent to settle at $49.21 per barrel.