Home / Business / Shares rise in thin post-holiday trade; oil, natural gas slip
A police officer is pictured though a wreath as he stands guard in the rain at the New York Stock Exchange on the last day of trading before Christmas in the Manhattan borough of New York, December 24, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri via NewsCred

Shares rise in thin post-holiday trade; oil, natural gas slip

NEW YORK – U.S. stocks pushed higher on Friday and major indexes hit new records, while oil and natural gas fell on worries of a supply glut and on mild U.S. weather.

The three major U.S. stock indexes were on track for a second straight weekly advance and all 10 S&P 500 industry sectors were higher on the day. Trading was light, however.

Europe, Canada, Latin America and a number of Asian markets were closed for a holiday the day after Christmas.

“The overall trend remains higher, but we’re reaching a point where we’re overbought,” said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of Sarhan Capital in New York, noting that a gain of “6 percent since last Tuesday is such a strong move in such a short period of time, even if bulls have the upper hand in the longer term.”

Oil prices slipped, pressured by a supply glut in top consumer the United States. A Department of Energy report on Wednesday showed crude inventories in the latest week rose to their highest December level on record.

U.S. natural gas futures broke below $3 for the first time in more than two years, on worries about abundant gas in storage from weak heating demand due to mild winter weather.

Gas prices have tumbled 35 percent in just a month on disappointing weekly consumption data for the fuel. On Friday, front-month gas on the New York Mercantile Exchange <NGc1> fell 1.4 percent to a September 2012 low of $2.97 per million British thermal units.

Related: Stocks rebound, oil cuts losses as Feds meets

Brent crude <LCOc1> was last down 17 cents at $60.07 a barrel. U.S. crude <CLc1> was last down 19 cents at $55.65 per barrel.

Spot gold prices <XAU=> rose $20.57 to $1,193.87 an ounce.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was last up 0.25 percent at 18,075.8. The S&P 500 <.SPX> was last up 0.38 percent at 2,089.87. The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> was last up 0.5 percent at 4,797.25.

The S&P was on track for its 52nd record close of the year, the most since 1995, and the Dow was on track for its seventh straight daily gain, its longest streak since March 2013.

MSCI’s all-country world index <.MIWD00000PUS> was last up 0.27 percent, to 421.51, boosted by the gains in U.S. shares.

In Japan, one of the few major markets open on Friday, the Nikkei benchmark stock index <.N225> closed up 0.1 percent in quiet trade.

European, Hong Kong, Australian, Canadian and Latin American stock markets were all closed for the day.

The U.S. dollar climbed to near a 7-1/2-year peak against the yen and close to a 2-1/2-year high versus the euro on the view that the U.S. economy is expanding enough for the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates in mid-2015. The greenback hovered at nearly nine-year highs against a basket of major currencies; the dollar index <.DXY> was last up 0.06 percent at 90.018.

U.S. Treasury prices recovered slightly from an early week selloff in light trading. Benchmark 10-year yields <US10YT=RR>, which move inversely to prices, were last at 2.26 percent, roughly unchanged from late Wednesday’s levels.

(Additional reporting by Ryan Vlastelica, Jessica Resnick-Ault, Richard Leong, and Barani Krishnan in New York; Thomas Wilson in Tokyo; Editing by Leslie Adler)

This article was written by Sam Forgione from Reuters and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.