NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The S&P 500 closed its sixth week of straight gains, although its down for the day during this shortened holiday session. Plummeting oil prices proved a boon to retail and airline stocks, balancing out the selloff among energy stocks on the S&P 500.
OPEC agreed not to cut oil production to address oversupply, but instead said at its Thursday meeting it would maintain current levels of 30 million barrels a day. In a statement, OPEC members said it would take such action "in the interest of restoring market equilibrium."
The crude oil benchmark West Texas Intermediate plummeted 7.7% to $68 a barrel. Oil prices have dropped 35% since mid-year.
Airline stocks were gaining as investors predicted the slip in gas prices might benefit the carriers' profitability. Southwest Airlines (LUV) - Get Report added 6.5%, Delta Air Lines (DAL) - Get Report climbed 5.5%, and United Continental (UAL) - Get Report gained 8.2%.
Retailers were also rallying, buoyed by the hope that lower gasoline prices will stimulate consumer spending. Walmart (WMT) - Get Report , Costco (COST) - Get Report , Target (TGT) - Get Report and Sears (SHLD) were all higher.
The S&P 500 dropped 0.25% in the final minutes of trading, after spending much of the session flat. The index remained at record highs, just 8 points from its all-time peak. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.04%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq futures were up 0.09%.
European markets were mixed as the eurozone reported a slip in inflation in November to 0.3% from 0.4%, while unemployment remained high at 11.5%. In Germany, the region's largest economy, October retail sales surged 1.9%, better than an estimated 1.5% increase.
Stoxx 600 companies are expected to post third-quarter earnings growth of 11.6%, according to Thomson Reuters data. Of the companies that have reported so far, just over half of the index, 52%, have beat analysts' earnings estimates.
-- Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York.