NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Oil prices backtracked from Monday's bounce and moved lower on Tuesday. West Texas Intermediate crude slid nearly 2% to $67.85 a barrel on Tuesday, around 36% lower than its mid-summer high. Prices have been squeezed after OPEC declined to constrain production despite global oversupply.
"The suppliers are going to start restraining production at some point," predicted David Bechtel, principal of Barrow Funds, in a call. "They're going to want to see oil get back up into the mid-$80s, low-$90s minimum. It's probably a project that occurs over the next 12 to 18 months."
Until then, John Stoltzfus, Oppenheimer's chief investment strategist, advised Wall Street to weigh the balance of positive effects against the negative: Increased consumer spending due to lower gas prices against geopolitical risk in oil-dependent countries such as Russia and Iraq.
"We believe it is particularly important for investors to become neither positively taken by nor even overly concerned by the current drama being generated by the decline in the price of oil," Stoltzfus wrote in a note.
Automakers were rising Tuesday after November sales impressed. Fiat Chrysler(FCAU) - Get Report reported its best November in 13 years with sales growth across its brands, leading shares 2.8% higher. General Motors(GM) - Get Report saw sales jump 6% in November, making the month its best November in seven years. Shares climbed 1.5%. Toyota(TM) - Get Report added 1.4% after unit sales climbed 3% compared to an estimated 2.1% increase.
U.S. stocks were holding onto session highs after domestic construction spending expanded faster than expected and speculation mounted over further stimulus measures from the European Central Bank and the People's Bank of China.
Construction spending in October increased 1.1% from September to $970.9 billion after two straight months of contraction. Economists expected a 0.6% rise. The rise in construction spending was the largest gain since May.
The S&P 500 added 0.57%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.5%, and the Nasdaq gained 0.5%.
The European Central Bank is set to review monetary policy on Thursday and is expected to cut growth and inflation outlooks. Hopes are high that China also will introduce new monetary easing policies after Chinese manufacturing slipped in November and was hovering near the cusp of contraction.
"Europe and China are the two biggest worries, given the size of their economies, and have been for some time so any incremental good news coming out of those countries is very positive for the markets," Croft Funds' portfolio manager Kent Croft told TheStreet recently.
It was merger Tuesday as Cypress Semiconductor(CY) - Get Report surged nearly 13% after agreeing to buy Spansion (CODE) for $1.59 billion. Spansion shares were up 20%. Avanir Pharmaceuticals (AVNR) spiked 12.8% after Japan-based Otsuka Holdings agreed to purchase the company for $3.5 billion or $17 a share.
-- Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York.