Crude oil

A sluggish start for US stocks following a rough quarter

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped seven points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,912 as of 10:04 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 69 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,212, and the Nasdaq composite fell 36 points, or 0.8 percent, to 4,583.

Energy sector leads a slump in US stocks as oil price falls

The declines Wednesday were led by energy stocks as the price of crude oil fell sharply.

Traders also worried that a report showing that the number of available jobs soared in July could help convince Federal Reserve policymakers to raise interest rates later this month.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 239 points, or 1.5 percent, to 16,253.

Oil price hits lowest level in 6½ years

The U.S. crude contract fell as low as $41.35 a barrel, the weakest level since early 2009, when the global economy was in the throes of a massive financial crisis and recession. By late morning in Europe, the price was around $42 a barrel.

The oil contract has been declining since touching a high of $61.43 on June 10.

Oil price slumps to lowest level in more than 6 years

Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.88, or 4 percent, to settle at $43.08 a barrel in New York on Tuesday, its lowest close since March of 2009.