Slumping oil price drags energy stocks lower, and the rest of the market down with it

Markets Associated Press

Stocks are closing sharply slower as another plunge in the price of oil dragged down the energy sector.

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Exxon Mobil and Chevron were among the biggest decliners in the Dow Jones industrial average Wednesday.

The Dow lost 268 points, or 1.5 percent, to 17,533. That was its worst drop in two months.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 33 points, or 1.6 percent, to 2,026. The Nasdaq composite fell 82 points, or 1.7 percent, to 4,684.

The price of crude oil sank $2.88, or 4.5 percent, to $60.94 a barrel in New York. That's a five-year low.

Oil fell after the U.S. Energy Department reported an increase in domestic inventories and OPEC projected that demand would sink next year to levels not seen in more than a decade.