US STOCKS-Wall St set to open up after three-day run; data on tap
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By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Dec 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were poised to open modestly higher on Monday, after the benchmark S&P 500 notched its best weekly performance in nearly two months, as oil prices continued to show signs of stabilizing and ahead of data on the housing market.
Brent crude hit a high of $62.97 and WTI crude rose to as much as $58.53 amid investor confidence there would be no substantial price loss in the run-up to the new year. Brent last traded down 26 cents at $61.12 while U.S. crude was last off 0.6 percent at $56.77 after Saudi Arabia indicated it could increase its output.
"Oil is in the process of bottoming out here," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York. "Backing and filling is probably what we are going to see in oil prices and that is a good sign because the bulk of the decline is over."
"The focus is obviously on the Fed being patient and that oil prices came down sharply and are seeking a level."
The benchmark S&P index rose 3.4 percent last week, boosted by a 5 percent jump over three sessions, after the U.S. Federal Reserve said it would take a "patient" approach toward raising interest rates and oil prices appeared to stabilize. The S&P energy index surged nearly 10 percent for the week. Continuación...