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Stocks sink on oil prices, gloomy manufacturing data

Traders work on the floor of the New

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street on Feb. 1, 2016. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

Falling oil prices weighed on U.S. and global stock markets Tuesday, as investors remained deeply concerned about the global economy after disappointing data on Chinese and U.S. manufacturing. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, overtook Apple as the world’s most valuable publicly traded company.

At the close on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 295.6 points, about 1.8 percent, to 16,153.5. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 36.4 points, about 1.9 percent, to 1,903, and the Nasdaq composite fell 103.4 points, about 2.2 percent, to 4,517.

OIL PRICES: The two reports weighed heavily on oil prices, and the selling pressure continued on Tuesday. As markets closed benchmark U.S. oil was down $1.71, about 5.4 percent, to $29.91 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, a day after it plunged nearly 6 percent. Brent crude, the international benchmark, was down $1.80, about 5.3 percent, at $32.44 a barrel in London.

GLOBAL FEARS: It’s a busy week on the economic data front, particularly in the U.S., where the week ends with monthly payroll figures. So far, the numbers haven’t impressed. On Monday, the Institute for Supply Management said its gauge of factory activity pointed to a contraction while China’s official survey found that manufacturing fell to its lowest level in more than three years.

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