Declining oil prices dent stock market

By Yinmeng Liu

U.S. crude oil rise fell, raising concern about stocks growth, photo by Lee Jordan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/leejordan/)
U.S. crude oil prices fell along with shares of Royal Dutch Shell and other energy stocks.  Courtesy of Lee Jordan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/leejordan/)

U.S. stocks reversed course Wednesday after four winning sessions, as falling oil prices further stoked investors’ concerns over the health of the global economy.

Stocks started the day with moderate gains in major indices after strong earnings reports and news of the European Central Bank’s plans to purchase corporate bonds eased investors’ concerns about weakening economic conditions in Europe and Asia. But by late morning, stocks began to fall.

By closing time on Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 153.49 points, or 0.92 percent to 16,461.32. The S & P 500 fell 14.17 points, or 0.73 percent to 1,927.11. The Nasdaq Composite drooped 36.63 points, or 0.83 percent to 4,382.85. The U.S. 10-year Treasury price was little changed, and the yield ended at 2.22 percent.

“A lot of the weakness in the market began after energy prices started to decline,” Paul Nolte, a financial analyst from Kingsview Asset Management said in an interview.

U.S. crude oil fell $1.97, or 2.5 percent to settle at $80.52 a barrel, the lowest oil price since June 2012.

Consumer prices in the U.S. rose a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent in September from the previous month, the U.S. Department of Labor reported. Prices to consumers rose 1.7 percent when compared with September 2013, below the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent target and raising some concerns about weak global growth.

Among the most active stocks, Broadcom Corp. rose 5.46 percent after the California company’s earnings topped analysts’ expectations amid improving revenue.  Yahoo Inc. rose 4.53 percent after reporting third-quarter profits that surged as a result of sales of its shares in Chinese internet company Alibaba Group Holding.

Biogen Idec Inc.’s stock fell 5.42 percent after the company said in a conference call that its multiple-sclerosis drug, Tecfidera, had caused a rare brain infection in a patient.

Shares of Illinois-based financial services companies Northern Trust Corp. and Discover Financial Services dove by more than 5 percent each. Northern Trust said its third quarter profit slid 1 percent as a result of rising expenses.  Credit card issuer Discover released solid quarterly earnings results but predicted future profits would be impacted by rising expenses.