Stocks Ended Marginally Higher amid Oil Rout

U.S. stocks ended marginally higher on Monday, after dipping in and out of negative territory as a deepening rout in oil prices hit the energy sector. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 52.12 points, or 0.32% to 16,398.57. The S&P 500 rose 1.64 points, or 0.09%, to 1,923.67. The Nasdaq Composite was down 5.64 points, or 0.12%, to 4,637.99.

A brutal new year selloff in oil markets quickened on Monday, with prices plunging 6 percent to new 12-year lows as further ructions in the Chinese stock market threatened to knock crude as low as $20 a barrel.

There may not be enough fresh data on inflation to support another U.S. interest rate hike by March, Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart said on Monday in comments that help give shape to the Fed’s possible rate path.

Alcoa Inc. said its fourth-quarter revenue slumped 18% amid sharply lower aluminum prices. Revenue dropped to $5.25 billion in the latest quarter from $6.38 billion a year earlier. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected revenue of $5.29 billion.

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