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US Stocks Extend 3-Day Losing Streak   02/09 16:12

   U.S. stocks extended their three-day losing streak Tuesday, closing slightly 
lower after spending most of the day wavering between gains and losses.

   (AP) -- U.S. stocks extended their three-day losing streak Tuesday, closing 
slightly lower after spending most of the day wavering between gains and losses.

   Energy companies led the decline as the price of U.S. crude oil sank nearly 
6 percent. It's now at about $28 a barrel. The market's bumpy ride followed a 
slide in European stock indexes and steep losses in Japan, reflecting mounting 
investor anxiety that the global economy is slowing.

   "The market continues to price in worst-case scenarios, a recessionary China 
and an energy sector that's looking basically like it should go bankrupt at 
this level," said Jeff Carbone, managing director of Cornerstone Financial 
Partners.

   The Dow Jones industrial average fell 12.67 points, or 0.1 percent, to 
16,014.38. The Standard & Poor's 500 slipped 1.23 points, or 0.1 percent, to 
1,852.21. The Nasdaq composite lost 14.99 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,268.76.

   The latest losses pulled the three indexes further down for the year. The 
Dow is off 8.1 percent, while the S&P 500 index is down 9.4 percent. The Nasdaq 
is off 14.8 percent.

   Stock markets have endured a torrid start to the year as investors have 
fretted over a number of issues, including the fall in the price of oil to 
multi-year lows, a slowdown in China and whether many parts of the global 
economy will fall into recession and suffer a debilitating period of deflation, 
or falling prices.

   The market veered lower early on Tuesday following wave of selling in Europe 
and Japan, where the Nikkei index closed 5.4 percent lower. The interest rate 
on the country's benchmark bond also dropped into negative territory for the 
first time.

   Major U.S. stock indexes rebounded early on as oil prices briefly rose, but 
the rally didn't last. A late-afternoon rebound also failed to hold as oil 
prices closed lower for the second day in a row.

   "The market's correlation to oil has not subsided at this time," said 
Carbone. "There seems to be no end in sight."

   Benchmark U.S. crude oil dropped $1.75, or 5.6 percent, to close at $27.94 a 
barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, fell 
$2.56, or 7.8 percent, to close at $30.32 a barrel in London.

   All told, the S&P 500 index's energy sector companies lost 2.5 percent, the 
worst performer in the index.

   Consol Energy lost $1.02, or 11.9 percent, to $7.53, while Southwestern 
Energy fell 97 cents, or 10.4 percent, to $8.37. Murphy Oil slid $1.37, or 7.1 
percent, to $17.86.

   The International Energy Agency, which advises countries on energy policy, 
said oil prices will continue to come under pressure as supply is set to 
outpace demand this year.

   Investors also had their sights on the latest batch of company earnings news.

   Entertainment conglomerate Viacom plunged 21.5 percent after missing revenue 
estimates for the fifth quarter in a row. The stock fell $8.99 to $32.86.

   Bristow Group tumbled 20.2 percent after the helicopter services company 
reported better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter profit, but revenue fell 
short of forecasts. The stock lost $3.73 to $14.75.

   Some companies fared much better.

   Martin Marietta Materials vaulted 9.4 percent after the construction 
materials company reported a sharp increase in earnings. The stock climbed 
$11.03 to $128.88. The gains helped lift the materials sector overall, which 
notched the biggest gain in the S&P 500 index.

   Traders were also looking ahead to the beginning on Wednesday of two days of 
testimony before Congress by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

   Yellen is scheduled to outline the central bank's outlook on the economy. 
Traders will be watching for hints about when the Fed will make its next move 
to raise its key interest rate. Most analysts and investors think the Fed will 
raise rates fewer than four times this year, if at all.

   "The market is looking at growth slowing globally and perhaps slowing more 
in the U.S. and wondering how the Federal Reserve could rationalize four rate 
hikes or even three rate hikes," Quincy Krosby, market strategist for 
Prudential Financial. "That has been a major worry for markets and that's the 
reason tomorrow is so important."

   In overseas action, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares lost 1 
percent, while Germany's DAX fell 1.1 percent. The CAC-40 in France dropped 1.7 
percent.

   Precious metals prices were mixed. Gold rose 70 cents, or 0.1 percent, to 
$1,198.60 an ounce and silver inched up 2 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $15.44 an 
ounce. Copper, an industrial metal that will often rise and fall along with 
investor's optimism about the global economy, fell 5 cents, or 2.4 percent, to 
$2.04 a pound.

   Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.73 
percent from 1.75 percent late Monday. The dollar was down at 115.12 yen from 
115.58 yen. As recently as the end of January, the dollar was trading above 121 
yen. The euro up $1.1296 from $1.1186.

   In other energy trading in New York, wholesale gasoline fell 6 cents, or 6 
percent, to 90 cents a gallon and home heating oil fell 7 cents to 97 cents a 
gallon. Natural gas fell 4 cents, or 2 percent, to $2.10 per 1,000 cubic feet.


(KA)


 
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