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Energy companies lead early stock drop as oil price weakens

NEW YORK  — U.S stocks fell in early trading Tuesday following a sell-off in Asia and Europe as the price of oil continued to slide to seven-year lows. The losses were broad, with all 10 industry sectors of the Standard and Poor’s 500 index down.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 228 points, or 1.3 percent, to 17,503 as of 10:21 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gave up 22 points, or 1.1 percent, to 2,056. The Nasdaq composite dropped 50 points, or 1 percent, to 5,051.

OIL SLUMP: Most of the biggest decliners were oil companies as U.S. crude dropped 18 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $3.53 a barrel. That’s the lowest price since early 2009. Devon Energy and Kinder Morgan each lost about 4 percent. Southwestern Energy fell 5 percent.

REDBOX TUMBLE: Outerwall plunged $12.02, or 21 percent, to $45.91 after lowering its earnings guidance and announcing the head of its movie kiosk division, Redbox, was leaving as rentals fall.

RESTAURANT ROUT: Chipotle Mexican Grill fell $17.51, or 3 percent, to $535 after people were sickened after eating at one of the company’s restaurants in Boston. The stock is down 22 percent so far this year as the restaurant chain struggles with the fallout from an E. coli outbreak and weakening sales.

EUROPE DOWN: Germany’s DAX fell 1.7 percent while the CAC-40 in France was 1.5 percent lower. Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 1.2 percent.

ASIA’S DAY: China’s Shanghai Composite fell 1.9 percent and Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 1 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 retreated 0.9 percent and Seoul’s Kospi declined 0.7 percent. Stock indexes in India, Taiwan, Singapore, Jakarta and New Zealand also declined.

CHINA TRADE: Customs data showed imports and exports shrank again in November, though there were signs domestic demand in some sectors was strengthening. Exports contracted by 6.8 percent, worse than October’s 3.6 percent fall. Imports fell 8.7 percent. Import volumes of crude oil, fresh fruit, cooking oil and some other goods rose.

BONDS, CURRENCIES: U.S. government bond prices were flat. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.23 percent. The euro edged up to $1.0893 from $1.0843 late Monday. The dollar fell to 122.77 yen from 123.33 yen.


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