Stocks closed lower Wednesday after an early rally faded. Energy stocks fell the most as the price of oil tumbled, again.

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At the close on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 48.5 points, about 0.3 percent, at 17,168.6. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 11.8 points, about 0.6 percent, to nearly 2,019. The Nasdaq composite gave up nearly 41 points, about 0.8 percent, to 4,840.1.

As the markets closed, benchmark U.S. crude oil fell $1.12 to $45.17 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.