NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It was an up-and-down day for stocks as cratering oil prices caused waves, though a last-minute rally pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average to another record close. Oil prices tumbled below $75 a barrel for the first time in four years on fears OPEC wouldn't inhibit its production in the face of a global supply glut.
Investors have been hoping OPEC will announce a cut in output when the collective countries meet in Venice on Nov. 27. However, Kuwaiti oil minister Ali Al-Omair has said the collective countries won't limit production. Also hurting oil prices, China released softer-than-expected factory forecasts, triggering fears its economy, the second-largest in the world, could see its weakest year in nearly a quarter of a century.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil for December delivery plunged 3.7% to $74.30.
Chevron (CVX) slipped 1%, Exxon Mobil (XOM) dropped 0.75% and Hess (HES) fell 1.7%. Oil and gas driller Helmerich & Payne (HP) tumbled 6.7%, the worst performer on the S&P, after quarterly earnings of $1.59 a share missed estimates by 9 cents.
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The S&P 500 added 0.05% and the Dow climbed 0.23%. The Nasdaq closed at its highest level since March 2000, up 0.11%. Small caps were among the hardest hit of the day with the small-cap index Russell 2000 down 0.84%. The VIX Volatility Index, commonly referred to as the "fear index," spiked 4.6%.