US stocks fall as oil hits new multi-year lows

US stocks fall as oil hits new multi-year lows

Monday, January 12, 2015 4:53 pm

Wall Street stocks fell in early trade Monday with many energy equities tumbling as oil prices sank to new multi-year lows.

About 35 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 17,603.38, down 133.99 points (0.76 percent).

The broad-based S&P 500 sank 18.61 (0.91 percent) to 2,026.20, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 43.89 (0.93 percent) to 4,660.18.

There were no major US economic data releases, but investors were gearing up for the unofficial kick-off of quarterly earnings with a report from aluminum producer Alcoa after the market closes.

Oil giant ExxonMobil fell 2.4 percent and Marathon Oil lost 4.6 percent as US crude prices opened at $46.56 a barrel, down $1.80 and the lowest price in nearly six years, after Goldman Sachs slashed its oil-price forecast.

The big drop in oil prices, while beneficial to consumers, has aroused fear in markets over potential bond defaults by energy companies. Analysts have also worried that the decline in oil prices could signal a slowing global economy.

NPS Pharmaceuticals bolted 8.3 percent higher after announcing plans to be bought by Ireland-based Shire for $5.2 billion.

Drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb advanced 2.9 percent on news that its study for its opdivo drug for lung cancer was stopped because an independent panel found that the drug succeeded in improving survival rates in patients.

Jewelry chain Tiffany slumped 11.7 percent as it said sales during the key holiday period fell one percent from last year, with an especially weak performance in Japan. Chief Michael Kowalski characterized the results as “disappointing overall.”

Lululemon Athletica, which sells attire for yoga and other activities, jumped 5.3 percent after it raised its forecast for the fourth quarter following a six-seven percent rise in comparable sales.

SanDisk, which manufacturers data storage products in consumer electronics, lost 10.9 percent after announcing that it expects fourth-quarter sales of $1.73 billion, down from a previous forecast for $1.80-$1.85 billion.

Bond prices advanced. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury dipped to 1.94 percent from 1.96 percent Friday, while the 30-year dropped to 2.53 percent from 2.54 percent. Bond yields and prices move inversely.

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