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Stocks fall as oil price slump hits energy sector

Ken Sweet | The Associated Press

NEW YORK — U.S. stock indexes moved mostly lower in early trading Monday after the market reached a record high last week. Energy stocks fell the most as the price of oil slumped. Campbell Soup fell after the company said its 2015 income would miss expectations. Yahoo, which owns a stake in Alibaba, rose in anticipation of the giant Chinese technology company going public.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 20 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,117 as of 10:58 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost three points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,004 and the Nasdaq composite rose 12 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,595.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil for October delivery fell $1.26, or 1.3 percent, to $92.05 a barrel, its lowest level since January. Oil prices have fallen for three days straight as a cease-fire in Ukraine took hold, easing concerns that supplies of oil from the region could be disrupted.

While lower prices are good for consumers, energy companies could be looking at lower profits if the price of oil remains this low. The five biggest decliners in the S&P 500 were all energy companies: Newfield Exploration, EOG Resources, Anadarko Petroleum, Cimarex Energy and Pioneer Natural Resources.

Related: Cheap energy pulls down euro zone producer prices drop in July

ALI-BUSTER: China’s Alibaba Group is seeking to raise up to $24.3 billion from its initial public offering, which would be the largest of all time. Alibaba Group is expected to make its long-awaited debut on the New York Stock Exchange later this month. Yahoo was an early investor in Alibaba and owns 23 percent of the company. Yahoo rose $1.32, or 3.3 percent, to $40.91.

LUKEWARM SOUP: Campbell Soup fell $1.01, or 2 percent, to $43.53 after the company reported sales that were weaker than analysts were expecting. Campbell also expects its earnings to be slow next year.

BRITAIN IN FOCUS: The British pound sank to $1.616, its lowest level since November. A YouGov poll showed rising support for Scottish independence, which has made investors nervous. Stocks in London, particularly those with links to Scotland, fell. Britain’s FTSE 100 index lost 0.5 percent.

ANALYST’S TAKE: “With just 10 days to go until the vote, this has clearly rattled investors who until now didn’t appear to be too concerned about the outcome,” said Craig Erlam, market analyst at Alpari.

BONDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.43 percent.

 

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