United States stocks climb after two big losses; oil falls 5 percent

Stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo Japan

A stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo Japan on Nov. 13 2018

This year may be different as investors factor in the week's anticipated quarter-point interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve, the ongoing U.S. The bank said the USA economy could slow even more than markets expect and prompt a bigger sell-off to start the year. The Dow and S&P are down for the year, and the Nasdaq is hanging in positive territory by less than a percent.

A number of strategists have underscored the recent spate of death crosses materializing-a death cross appeared in the S&P 500 index about 10 days ago and another formed in the small-capitalization oriented Russell 2000 index in mid November.

An early rally on the stock market was largely gone by the closing bell as another plunge in the price of oil sank energy stocks.

Bank stocks were fractionally lower on the day, with the KBW Bank Index down 0.25% as the spread between the 2- and 10-year yields held near 16 basis points. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was also off 2.1% and the Nasdaq, down 2.3%.

FED DECISION: The Fed is widely expected to raise its short-term interest rate after a meeting ends Wednesday.

Investors, however, are anxious that the Fed may signal numerous hikes in 2019, which many believe could stall USA economic growth. That means the DAX, which represents Europe's largest single economy, is also in a bear market. Companies across the country have been doing similarly throughout this year, but investors have often given the better-than-expected performances less attention than their worries about slowing economic growth, higher interest rates and global trade tensions.

Traders at New York Stock Exchange
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in N.Y. on Dec. 18 2018

ANALYST'S TAKE: "While U.S. economic signals are not flashing red. many market participants believe the Fed should provide investors with some breathing room after higher interest rates coupled with tighter liquidly conditions have sent equity markets on a downward spiral since October", Stephen Innes of OANDA said in a commentary. This is its fourth deficit in last five months.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc shares rose 2.1 percent to snap a nine-day losing streak related to the 1MDB scandal.

US stock markets again swept downward Monday as the volatility of recent weeks resumed ahead of the holidays. West Texas Intermediate crude is down more than 3.5%, trading at $48.41 a barrel, while Brent crude is down a similar margin, trading at $57.55.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index added 0.6 percent and the Kospi in South Korea gained 0.1 percent. It lost $3.35 to $56.26 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar dipped to 112.56 Japanese yen from 112.75 yen late Monday. The British pound rose to $1.2629 from $1.2579.

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