US stocks closed lower after a shortened session Friday, bumping the benchmark S&P 500 index into a correction, or drop of 10% below its most recent all-time high in September. Energy companies led the market slide as the price of US crude oil tumbled to its lowest level in more than a year, reflecting worries among traders that a slowing global economy could hurt demand for oil, per the AP. The S&P 500 index fell 17.37 points, or 0.7%, to 2,632.56. The index is now down 10.2% from its last all-time high set Sept. 20. The last time the index entered a correction was in February. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 178.74 points, or 0.7%, to 24,285.95. The Nasdaq composite dropped 33.27 points, or 0.5%, to 6,938.98.
Crude oil prices fell for the seventh straight week on worries that a slowing global economy could hurt demand even as oil production has been increasing. The benchmark US crude contract slid 7.7% to settle at $50.42 per barrel in New York. That is the lowest since October 2017. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 6.1% to close at $58.80 per barrel in London. Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members have recently signaled a willingness to consider production cuts at the oil cartel's meeting next month. The US has been increasing pressure on Saudi Arabia and OPEC to not cut production, however, a move that could push prices down further.
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