It was another day of crude oil losses, but this time stocks didn't show much concern.
After days of trading in lockstep with oil prices, markets broke free to bounce back from three straight losing sessions.
Though the rally lost momentum in the final half hour, the S&P 500 closed up 0.23%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.47%, and the Nasdaq added 0.44%.
Since last Friday morning, crude oil prices have tumbled 8%, while stocks have fallen 1.4%.
The energy sector also broke its correlation with the commodity markets. Major oilers including ConocoPhillips (COP) - Get Report , Chevron (CVX) - Get Report , and Phillips 66 (PSX) - Get Report ended Thursday higher as investors went bargain-shopping in the oversold sector.
"You're getting speculation that maybe some of oil is overdone and (investors) start to look for a bargain," said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth, according to CNBC. "The energy space is hit so hard. We've been down so much in such a short period of time."
Crude oil prices settled under $37 a barrel on Thursday for the first time since 2009, before the Great Recession. Earlier, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries reported its highest monthly production levels in three years. Production rose by 230,100 barrels a day in November. West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 1% to $36.80 a barrel.
The countdown to next week's Federal Reserve meeting has begun. The Fed is likely to hike rates at the conclusion of its two-day meeting next Wednesday, the first move higher in nearly a decade. Odds for a hike were boosted after a better-than-expected November jobs report last week.
"The focus will be less on what the Fed does and more on what they say about the future path of rates," said TD Securities analysts in a note. "In her post announcement press conference, [Chair Janet] Yellen will have significant latitude to shift the focus away from the actual liftoff in rates and towards the "gradual" and "data dependent" path for the policy rate. This she has deftly accomplished in the past, and our expectation is for her to attempt to do the same next week."
Warren Buffett, billionaire investor, disclosed an 8.02% stake in real estate investment trust Seritage Growth Properties (SRG) - Get Report , pushing his total stake to $70.5 million. The REIT was created by struggling retailer Sears (SHLD) . Seritage and Sears shares rose.
Walmart (WMT) - Get Report has begun testing its own mobile payment system, Walmart Pay, a direct competitor to Apple's Apple Pay. The smartphone-based payment system will work with all credit and debit cards, as well as Walmart gift cards. The first phase is being rolled out at stores in Arkansas.
First Solar (FSLR) - Get Report tumbled more than 7% after issuing disappointing 2016 guidance. The alternative-energy company said it expects full-year revenue between $3.9 billion and $4.1 billion, compared to analysts' estimates of $4.09 billion.
General Electric (GE) - Get Report was slightly higher on reports it is in advanced talks to buy the drilling-services division of Halliburton (HAL) - Get Report . Halliburton, the oilfields services company, is selling some of its assets in order to win regulatory approval for its takeover of Baker Hughes (BHI) .
Men's Wearhouse (MW) slumped 17% on Thursday after sales at its suit retailer Jos. A. Bank fell 35.1% in the quarter to date. The company said it would book a $90.1 million charge for its investment in Jos. A. Bank.
Business software developer Atlassian (TEAM) - Get Report began trading on the Nasdaq on Thursday morning. The company opened at $27.67 a share, above its initial public offering price of $21 a share. The IPO price values Atlassian at $4.38 billion, above a recent private-investment round which valued it at $3 billion.