Slide in energy sector drags US stock market lower

Stocks are ending lower, breaking a four-day winning streak, as a drop in the price of oil dragged energy companies lower.

The energy sector in the Standard & Poor's 500 index sank 1.7 percent, more than twice as much as the rest of the market. Small-company stocks and transportation shares also fell sharply as traders unloaded riskier assets.

The market started higher, then turned lower at midday as the price of oil fell. Traders have worried about a steady decline in the price of oil as global demand for energy recedes.

The S&P 500 index fell 14 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,927 Wednesday.

The Dow Jones industrial average gave up 153 points, or 0.9 percent, to 16,461. The Nasdaq composite fell 36 points, or 0.8 percent, to 4,382.
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