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U.S. stocks lower on oil prices, E.Z. worries; Dow Jones down 0.64%

Stock MarketsFeb 27, 2012 09:56AM ET
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This article has already been saved in your Saved Items - U.S. stocks were lower on Monday, as fears that rising oil prices are threatening the global economic recovery and sustained concerns over the debt crisis in the euro zone dented market sentiment.

During early U.S. trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged fell 0.64%, the S&P 500 index added slipped 0.66%, while the Nasdaq Composite index declined 0.74%.

Market sentiment was hit after a weekend meeting of the Group of 20 nations postponed a decision on increasing the lending capacity of the International Monetary Fund and said any decision on outside help will be conditional upon on European governments increasing the size of the region’s debt firewall.

Investor confidence was also weighed by concerns over the potential impact of the recent rally in oil prices on the economic recovery in the euro zone and the U.S.

In the energy sector, Blackstone Group LP tumbled 2% as the company was expected to announce a USD2 billion equity investment in Cheniere Energy Partners later Monday as a bet on U.S. natural-gas exports, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, shares in BP jumped 1.53% as the trial to decide who should pay for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill was delayed by a week, to allow BP to try to cut a deal with tens of thousands of businesses and individuals affected by the disaster.

Sprint declined 1.42% after its board of directors decided to walk away from a nearly finalized deal to acquire MetroPCS, whose shares plummeted 1.92% after the news.

Elsewhere, Intel saw shares slide 0.75% although France Telecom's mobile unit Orange decided to launch a smartphone in France and the U.K. this summer designed by the U.S. company and using its newest processor.

On the upside, Lowe's rallied 1.77% after the home-improvement chain posted higher-than-expected sales, thanks to the warm weather that prompted more homeowners to take up renovation projects.

Disney also added 0.24% after Goldman Sachs upgraded the media conglomerate to "conviction buy" from "neutral", citing ESPN's performance in addition to strength in theme parks.

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were sharply lower. The EURO STOXX 50 tumbled 1.55%, France’s CAC 40 plunged 1.36%, Germany's DAX plummeted 1.51%, while Britain's FTSE 100 dropped 1.02%.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dropped 1.15%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index eased down 0.15%.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to publish industry data on pending home sales.

U.S. stocks lower on oil prices, E.Z. worries; Dow Jones down 0.64%

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