Stocks Closed Lower on Fed Concerns

U.S. stocks closed lower on Monday, amid persistent investor concerns about the prospect of higher U.S. interest rates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 114.98 points, or 0.69%, to 16,528.03, and end August with a 6.6% loss. The S&P 500 fell 16.69 points, or 0.84%, to 1,972.18, recording a 6.3% drop over the month. The Nasdaq Composite was down 51.82 points, or 1.07%, to 4,776.51 and fell 6.9% over the

Oil futures took a sudden, sharp turn higher Monday to score a monthly gain of more than 4% and settle at their highest level in nearly 6 weeks. October West Texas Intermediate crude settled at $49.20 a barrel, up $3.98, or 8.8%, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The U.S. oil industry pumped less crude than initially estimated this year. The Energy Information Administration said its new survey-based output data showed the United States pumped a hair below 9.3 million barrels per day in June, down by 100,000 bpd from a revised May figure.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc disclosed a $4.48 billion stake in oil refiner Phillips 66 , rebuilding a bet it had made in the energy industry before oil prices fell.

J.C. Penney Co. Inc.’s stock (JCP) surged 3.6% in midday trade, after the department store was upgraded to buy from hold at Deutsche Bank.

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