U.S. stocks closed narrowly mixed on Thursday, with stocks near recent highs, as lackluster economic data and oil concerns weighed on investor sentiment.
“We tend to get vertical when we get close to all-time highs,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities. He noted that while economic data could be interpreted as fairly positive, oil continued to trade sideways as concerns about oversupply persisted.
Crude oil futures settled down 5.53 percent at $48.17 a barrel. Brent fell to trade below $61 a barrel on Thursday. Energy fell nearly 2 percent as the greatest decliner in the S&P 500. Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Caterpillar each fell more than one percent as some of the greatest blue chip laggards.The Dow Jones industrial average briefly flirted with positive territory, led by Cisco, Johnson & Johnson and McDonald’s.