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Stocks skid as oil prices continue to fall

U.S. stocks fell for a second day on Tuesday following a wave of selling abroad on fears that a slump in commodity prices was far from over.

The selling began in Asia on disappointing trade figures from China, then spread to Europe where stock indexes in Germany, France and Britain each dropped more than 1 percent.

In the United States stocks fell sharply in the morning, but later made back much of the losses. Suppliers of raw materials fell the most, down 1.9 percent. Energy companies dropped 1.5 percent.

A big focus for investors — oil — slid again. After dropping for 1 1⁄2 years, U.S. benchmark crude costs just $37.51 a barrel, near a seven-year low.

“The energy sector has done a good job grappling with mid-$40 oil, but it’s tougher as you go under $40,” said Doug Cote, chief market strategist at Voya Investment Management.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 162.51 points to end at 17,568. It was down 245 points earlier.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 gave up 0.65 percent, to close at 2,063.59. The Nasdaq composite slipped 0.07 percent, to 5,098.24.

— The Associated Press

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