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Stocks tumble as price of oil sags

Stocks were dragging early Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016,

Stocks were dragging early Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016, a big difference from Monday when trader Thomas Ferrigno watched them climb at the New York Stock Exchange. Credit: AP / Richard Drew

Stocks fell broadly on Tuesday as commodity prices retreated. Crude oil sank more than 4 percent. Investors remained worried about growth in China as the country cut the value of its currency against the dollar yet again.

Investors were also discouraged by a report showing that consumer confidence fell to its lowest level in seven months.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 188.88 points, or 1.1 percent, to 16,431.78. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 24.23 points, or 1.3 percent, to 1,921.27 and the Nasdaq composite fell 67.02 points, or 1.5 percent, to 4,503.58.

As has happened multiple times this year, stocks fell in tandem with energy prices.

Saudi Arabia’s oil minister said Tuesday that production cuts to boost oil prices won’t work, and said the world’s oil market should be allowed to work even if that forces some operators out of business. He also said he expects oil prices to remain low for some time.

Crude oil fell $1.52, or 4.6 percent, to $31.87 a barrel while Brent crude, which is used to price oils internationally, fell $1.42, or 4.1 percent, to $33.27 a barrel in London.

Energy stocks fell far more than the rest of the market, with the energy component of the S&P 500 dropping 3.2 percent.

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