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Stocks fall as oil price slump hits energy sector

By KEN SWEET

AP Business Writer NEW YORK (AP) - The U.S. stock market fell Monday, pulling back from a record high reached last week. Energy stocks fell the most as the price of oil slumped. Campbell Soup declined after the company said its 2015 income would miss analysts' expectations. Yahoo, which owns a stake in Alibaba, rose in anticipation of the giant Chinese technology company going public.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 51 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,084 as of 1:41 p.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 11 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,996 and the Nasdaq composite fell eight points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,575.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil for October delivery fell $1.15, or 1.2 percent, to $92.16 a barrel, its lowest level since January. Oil prices have fallen for three days straight as a cease-fire in Ukraine took hold, easing concerns that supplies of oil from the region could be disrupted.

While lower oil prices are good for consumers, energy companies could be looking at lower profits if the price of oil remains this low. Seven of the 10 biggest decliners in the S&P 500 were energy companies, primarily smaller oil exploration companies who rely more heavily on high oil prices to justify drilling for oil in remote, expensive places.

Newfield Exploration, EOG Resources, Pioneer Natural Resources and Anadarko all fell 3 percent or more.

ALI-BUSTER: China's Alibaba Group is seeking to raise up to $24.3 billion from its initial public offering, which would be the largest of all time. Alibaba Group is expected to make its long-awaited debut on the New York Stock Exchange later this month. Yahoo was an early investor in Alibaba and owns 23 percent of the company. Yahoo rose $1.90, or 5 percent, to $41.51.

LUKEWARM SOUP: Campbell Soup fell $1.01, or 2 percent, to $43.48 after the company reported sales that were weaker than analysts were expecting. Campbell also expects its earnings to be slow next year.

BRITAIN IN FOCUS: The British pound sank to $1.616, its lowest level since November. A YouGov poll showed rising support for Scottish independence, which has made investors nervous. Stocks in London, particularly those with links to Scotland, fell. Britain's FTSE 100 index lost 0.3 percent.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "A vote for independence or fear of that outcome may roil financial markets over the next two weeks with the added uncertainty," said Bill Stone, chief investment strategist at PNC Asset Management, in an e-mail.

BONDS, METALS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.47 percent. The price of gold fell $13 to $1,254.30 an ounce, silver fell 20 cents to $18.96 an ounce and copper was flat at $3.17 a pound.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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