US STOCKS-Wall St little changed but S&P hits record
* Trading volume light in holiday week
* Gilead Sciences rises on analyst upgrade
* Energy sector loses early gains as oil turns lower
* Dow off 0.09 pct, S&P 500 up 0.09 pct, Nasdaq flat (Updates to market close)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Dec 29 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed in thin trading on Monday as the S&P 500 notched its latest record high, but gains were curbed when an early rally in energy prices lost momentum.
Equities have trended to the upside of late, buoyed by data showing an improving economy and the U.S. Federal Reserve's commitment to be "patient" about raising interest rates. After the S&P 500 gained nearly 6 percent over the prior eight sessions, it notched its 53rd record close of the year on Monday.
The S&P energy index advanced 0.3 percent, pulling back from a gain of more than 1 percent as Brent and U.S. crude oil turned lower. Brent settled down $1.57 at $57.88 and U.S. crude settled down $1.12 at $53.61 a barrel.
In contrast to the fall in oil prices, consumer discretionary names were among the day's best performers, up 0.7 percent. General Motors rose 2.6 percent to $34.60. The S&P 500 retail sector rose 0.8 percent as Macy's Inc advanced 1.8 percent to $65.22 and Amazon.com was up 1 percent to $312.04. Continuación...