The S&P 500 was teetering between small gains and losses, a day after the benchmark set its 27th closing record of the year. The blue-chip index gained 59.87 points, or 0.2%, to 29883.79.
Oil prices edged higher after OPEC and allied countries including Russian Federation agreed Thursday to increase oil production only gradually, starting with 500,000 barrels per day in January.
USA benchmark crude oil was up 0.2% at $45.36 per barrel. Oil has raced up almost 30% over the last month.
At the same time, many investors have noted that valuations appear to be stretched and some say they are closely watching sentiment surveys, which have grown increasingly bullish in recent weeks. Aurora Cannabis rose 11.33% and Aphria 7.77%.
In European stock markets, the German DAX was up 0.1%, while the French CAC 40 rose 0.3%. Royal Bank of Canada, however, closed down 0.61%, as the profit beat may have already been baked into the stock price following gains on Tuesday when the first two big Canadian banks reported upbeat results. Uncertainty remains about a US stimulus package, where a bipartisan proposal endorsed by Democratic leaders as a basis for negotiations is luring increased interest from Republicans, lifting the chances for a deal by year-end.
USA stocks are hovering close to their record levels Thursday, Dec. 3, as Wall Street takes a pause following its rocket ride higher on optimism about a coming COVID-19 vaccine. Pfizer jumped 3.5% and BioNTech surged about 6%.
"It's a pretty big miss, so it may have people a little spooked about what Friday may look like", said Ross Mayfield, investment strategy analyst at Baird.
"They are watching this stuff as much as investors are", Mayfield said.
The increase means the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russian Federation, a group known as OPEC+, would move to cut production by 7.2 million barrels per day, or 7% of global demand from January, compared with current cuts of 7.7 million barrels per day.
The S&P 500 is up 30.66 points, or 0.8%.
Chinese companies listed in the U.S., including e-commerce giant Alibaba Group and Nio, the world's fourth-largest automaker by market capitalization, are in focus after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, which calls for overseas companies that do not comply with audit requests for three years to be delisted from American stock exchanges.
The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average edged higher Wednesday in a choppy trading session as signs of progress on a stimulus package lifted investor sentiment.
The Nasdaq composite slipped 5.74 points, or 0.1%, to 12,349.37.
Comments from president-elect Joe Biden were also weighing on sentiment after he said he would not move to immediately pull tariffs placed by his predecessor on China. A pullback in technology stocks, companies that rely on consumer spending and elsewhere kept the market's gains in check. Slack fell more than 2%.
The Nasdaq is up 143.52 points, or 1.2%.
The S&P 500 rose slightly on Wednesday, eking out another record closing high, as traders digested the latest developments surrounding a new round of US fiscal stimulus negotiations.