S&P 500, Dow Slide For Third Day As Oil Settles At Lowest Since December

By Sue Chang Markets MarketWatch Pulse

The S&P 500 and the Dow fell for a third session Wednesday as oil prices settled at a three-month low, dragging on energy stocks. April West Texas Intermediate crude [s:CLJ7] fell $2.86, or 5.4%, to $50.28 a barrel, the lowest since Dec. 7. Expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next week on the back of strong employment data also dampened sentiment. The private sector added 298,000 jobs in February, the third best rate of jobs creation during the current economic recovery. The S&P 500 fell 5 points, or 0.2%, to close at 2,362 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 69 points, or 0.3%, to end at 20,855. The Nasdaq Composite Index bucked the trend to edge up 3 points to close at 5,837.

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