U.S. Stocks Mixed, Weighed Down by Energy Shares

By Akane Otani and Riva Gold Features Dow Jones Newswires

S&P 500 edges lower

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-- Oil prices, energy shares drop ahead of OPEC meeting

-- Retail shares rise after weekend sales

The S&P 500 paused Monday, weighed down by a pullback in shares of energy companies.

Major indexes struggled for traction Monday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq giving up early gains to trade mostly lower in the second half of the session.

Shares of retailers jumped following the weekend's holiday sales, while oil-and-gas companies fell along with U.S. crude prices.

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With major indexes still up double-digit percentages for 2017, some analysts said it wasn't surprising to see the momentum in U.S. stocks falter a bit heading into year-end.

"I see the risk-reward being much more attractive in international markets," said Crit Thomas, global market strategist at Touchstone Investments, who added that U.S. stocks look expensive relative to their foreign counterparts.

The S&P 500 declined less than 0.1% in recent trade. The Nasdaq Composite lost 0.1% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 25 points, or 0.1%, to 23583.

Shares of Marathon Oil, Hess and Devon Energy lost more than 2% apiece, while U.S. crude oil shed 1.3% to $58.21 a barrel ahead of a meeting of major crude producers.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, as well as producers including Russia, is expected Thursday to discuss whether to extend output cuts that some analysts say have helped oil prices recover this year.

Meanwhile, shares of several retailers jumped, extending gains from Friday, when many department stores and brick-and-mortar outlets kicked off a weekend of major sales.

L Brands, the parent of Victoria's Secret, rose 4.6%, while Signet Jewelers and Gap added 1.6%.

"It would seem like we are off to a good start [to the holiday shopping season]," said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade.

Hopes for a solid final quarter as well as better-than-expected earnings reports have drawn some investors back into beaten-down retail shares in recent sessions, analysts said.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.5%, with shares of Julius Baer Group falling after the Swiss private-banking company's chief executive resigned.

Stock indexes in Asia came under pressure as technology stocks slid.

Morgan Stanley downgraded stock ratings for Samsung Electronics and Taiwan Semiconductor. South Korea's Kospi Composite Index, which heavily weights the two firms, fell 1.4% in its biggest one-day decline since August.

Much of the recent selloff in Asian shares has come from companies that have already posted strong gains this year, said Andrea Cicione, head of strategy at TS Lombard, noting investors are questioning whether they are willing to pay up front for all the growth that these companies will deliver.

"But we haven't seen anything for the moment that worries us," he said, noting fundamentally, the outlook for the economy and global equities remains sound and investors generally feel they can't afford to miss out on this market.

Kenan Machado contributed to this article.

Write to Akane Otani at akane.otani@wsj.com and Riva Gold at riva.gold@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 27, 2017 14:52 ET (19:52 GMT)