4 Jun 2009

Oil price drop, economic data knock Wall Street

11:24 am on 4 June 2009

US stocks tumbled on Wednesday, halting a four-day winning streak, as falling oil prices hit energy shares, while less upbeat economic reports rekindled worries about recovery prospects.

Oil prices slipped more than 3% after a surprise build-up in inventories.

Chevron shares fell 1.6% to $US68.26, while Exxon Mobil shares declined 1.2% to $72.08. The S&P energy index fell 3.3%.

Data showing the vast service sector contracted for the eight straight month in May hit shares, as did a report showing employers axed 532,000 private-sector jobs last month.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 65.63 points, or 0.75%, to 8,675.24.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index shed 12.98 points, or 1.37%, to 931.76.

The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 10.88 points, or 0.59 percent, to 1,825.92.