Stocks Ended Mostly Lower, Posted Monthly Gains

U.S. stocks ended mostly lower on Wednesday, as gains in blue-chip energy companies and banks were not enough to make up for losses in the broader market.The Dow Jones industrial average added 1.98 points, or 0.01%, to 19,123.58. The Standard & Poor’s 500 was down 5.85 point, or 0.27%, to 2,198.81. The Nasdaq composite lost 56.24 points, or 1.05%, to 5,323.68. For the month, Dow gained 5.5%, S&P 500 rose 3.4% and Nasdaq was up 2.6%.

OPEC representatives reached a deal to cut oil production after months of wrangling Wednesday. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said it agreed to cut production by 1.2 million barrels a day from the current 33.6 million barrels, representing about 1% of global production. Other oil producers from outside the cartel are expected to cut an additional 600,000 barrels a day, OPEC said.

Prices for oil soared Wednesday, with January West Texas Intermediate crude rising $3.95, or 8.8%, to trade at $49.18 a barrel and February Brent crude traded at $51.65 a barrel, up $4.33, or 9.2%.

Some economists say this week’s employment report could show a healthy rebound and beat estimates after payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that businesses added a better-than-expected 216,000 jobs in November.

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