Stocks held mixed on Wednesday as crude oil bounced between negative and positive territory.
The S&P 500 was down 0.22%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3%, and the Nasdaq rose 0.33%. The Dow was set to snap a seven-day winning streak that propelled the index to record closing highs for the past four sessions.
Crude oil fluctuated on Wednesday, caught between worries over a growing supply glut in the U.S. and hopes of a production freeze from some of the world's largest oil producers. The Energy Information Administration reported that 5.3 million barrels were added to stockpiles in the week ended Nov. 11, more than double the 2.4 million barrels a week earlier. Analysts anticipated 1.5 million barrels to have been added. A separate reading from the American Petroleum Institute showed stockpiles rising by 3.7 million barrels over the past week.
Reports Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak had thrown his support behind a deal among major oil producers boosted hopes of a solution to global oversupply. Reuters reported that Novak suggested higher chances of a production freeze agreement among Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Oil had surged to three-week highs on Tuesday on renewed hopes for a deal. OPEC is set to meet in Vienna on Nov. 30 to discuss a possible arrangement.
"The petroleum market continues to adjust its expectations for a possible OPEC production cut," Tim Evans, energy futures specialist at Citi, wrote in a note. "We're still not seeing concrete progress on narrowing the gaps on specific member allocations. In other words, everyone is agreed that others should cut, but that's clearly not going to be enough to get a deal done."