While stocks finished the last trading day of 2014 lower, for the year the major indexes close out near all-time highs. Bobbi Rebell reports.
It was a banner year for the U.S. financial markets. Stocks closing near record levels - the Dow closing up 7 and a half percent- 6 years in a row of gains there. The S&P 500 adding almost 11 and a half percent- its third year in a row of double digit positive returns, the Nasdaq adding more than 13 percent for the year- also on a three year winning streak. But the last trading day of 2014 had the indexes in the red- along with falling crude prices - with Brent crude seeing its lowest level since May 2009. But Wells Fargo Funds Management, Chief Portfolio Strategist, Brian Jacobsen sees upside in the year to come. SOUNDBITE: BRIAN JACOBSEN, CHIEF PORTFOLIO STRATEGIST, WELLS FARGO FUNDS MANAGEMENT (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Energy is one of my favorites right now because I think they sort of over shot on the downside from a valuation perspective so I just think if we find a bottom with oil prices people are gonna be surprised that we can actually have profitable firms when oil prices are at or around $55 a barrel." In economic news, new claims for jobless benefits rose more than expected last week snapping four weeks of declines. But the four week moving average remained below the key 300,000 mark. Pending home sales, or contracts to buy previously owned homes, rose modestly in November pointing to a sluggish housing market, according to the National Association of Realtors. Stocks on the move included NephroGenex. Shares soared after a cardiac saftey study showed its lead drug was found to be safe in patients with diabetic nephropathy. In an shortened trading day in Europe, markets in the U.K. and France closed higher. Germany's stock exchange was closed.