NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- With only minutes left in the session, the six-day Christmas rally swiftly ended just in time for the holiday break. After extending record closes set a day earlier, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 erased earlier gains to close at the flatline.
The S&P 500 was flat, the Dow gained just 6 points to eke out a new record close, and the Nasdaq climbed 0.17%. Over the past five days, the S&P 500 has jumped more than 5% to new highs, a rally fueled by the Federal Reserve's promise to be "patient" in raising rates next year.
Weekly jobless claims slid for the fourth straight week, an indication of steady improvement in the job market. The number of new claims for unemployment benefits slid 9,000 to 280,000. Economists had expected 290,000 claims after a reading of 289,000 a week earlier.
Crude oil prices were giving back some of Tuesday's gains. West Texas Intermediate crude was down 2.7% to $55.56, while major oilers Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) were lower and the Energy Select SPDR ETF (XLE) dropped 0.77%. Crude prices had seen a brief rebound on Tuesday after Arab OPEC producers said they expect global oil to rebound to between $70 and $80 a barrel by end-2015.