Stocks slide as oil prices drop 5%

Prices fall af­ter re­port of big buildup in U.S. fuel stock­piles.

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS - Mar­kets

U.S. stocks fell for the third day in a row as en­ergy com­pa­nies tum­bled along with the price of crude oil. In­vestors also sold high-div­i­dend stocks as bond yields rose, giv­ing in­vestors other al­ter­na­tives for seek­ing in­come.

Crude oil prices fell 5 per­cent, their big­gest drop in more than a year, af­ter the govern­ment re­ported a big buildup in fuel stock­piles.

A sur­vey by a pay­roll com­pany showed that pri­vate com­pa­nies added the most jobs in three years in Fe­bru­ary, a sign of stronger eco­nomic growth. That helped send bond prices lower and yields higher. The re­port showed big in­creases in con­struc­tion and man­u­fac­tur­ing hir­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to in­dus­try mea­sure­ments and govern­ment data, man­u­fac­tur­ing and busi­ness in­vest­ment have im­proved in the last few months af­ter a steep slump. How­ever in­vestors have longed for ev­i­dence man­u­fac­tur­ing and con­struc­tion com­pa­nies were bring­ing on more work­ers, and there wasn’t much of that un­til Wed­nes­day.

“It’s not sur­pris­ing that you would start to see the hir­ing im­prove in that sec­tor,” said Katie Nixon, chief in­vest­ment of­fi­cer for North­ern Trust. “It’s been a drag on eco­nomic growth the last cou­ple of years.”

The Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 in­dex dipped 5.41 points, or 0.2 per­cent, to 2,362.98. The Dow

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