Stocks Finished in the Red

U.S. stocks end modestly lower on Wednesday, leaving Dow further from 20,000 milestone. The Dow slipped 32.66 points, or 0.16%, to 19,941.96. The S&P 500 declined 5.58 points, or 0.25%, to 2,265.18. The Nasdaq Composite shed 12.51 points, or 0.23%, to 5,471.43.

Sales of previously-owned homes rose modestly in November as lean inventory and higher prices continue to choke the housing market. Existing-home sales ran at a seasonally adjusted annual 5.61 million pace, the National Association of Realtors said.

Oil prices finished sharply lower Wednesday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a larger-than-expected climb in crude stockpiles. West Texas Intermediate crude-oil futures for delivery in February fell 81 cents, or 1.5%, at $52.49 a barrel. February Brent crude declined 89 cents, or 1.6%, to $54.46 a barrel.

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