Stocks Falling in Early Trade

Stocks Falling in Early Trade

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks are skidding in early trading Thursday, weighed down by weakness in mining and energy companies. Stocks have fallen for five days out of the last six after a big rally in October. The dip has erased some the small gains the markets have made this year. Prices for copper, oil and other commodities fell.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average sank 178 points, or 1 percent, to 17,524 as of 10:05 a.m. The Standard & Poor's 500 lost 17 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,058, just below where it started the year. The Nasdaq composite index fell 30 points, or 0.6 percent, to 5,036.

OIL FALLING: The price of oil fell about 2 percent as investors waited for an update on U.S. crude stockpiles. The Energy Information Administration will release its weekly report on supplies, showing how much oil and gas is being used, processed and imported.

METALS: The price of copper fell 2 percent to about $2.17 a pound. That sent mining stocks lower. Freeport-McMoRan dropped 50 cents, or 5 percent, to $8.81.

KOHL'S RALLIES: Retailer Kohl's climbed $3.47, or 8 percent, to $46.63 after the company said strong sales in the back-to-school season and late October boosted its results in the third quarter. Kohl's and other retailers tumbled Wednesday after a disappointing report from Macy's.

LISTED: Angie's List, which lets users research, shop for and rate home services like plumbers and home cleaners, accepted an offer from IAC/InteractiveCorp worth $512 million. IAC/InteractiveCorp owns websites including About.com and HomeAdvisor.com.

Angie's List stock rose 95 cents, or 12 percent, to $8.87. The shares have doubled in value in recent months, but remain below their 2011 IPO price of $13 a share. The stock traded over $28 in 2013.

TAILS NOT WAGGING: Freshpet, which sells refrigerated fresh pet food, tumbled after reporting its third-quarter results. The company said growth in fridges was lower than it expected and manufacturing problems hurt its profits. Freshpet plunged $2.23, or 27 percent, to $6.12.

KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares fell 1.6 percent while Germany's DAX fell 1.3 percent. The CAC-40 in France dropped 1.9 percent.

CENTRAL BANKERS: The downbeat performance in Europe came despite a further indication from ECB President Mario Draghi that the bank is ready to back further stimulus for the region's ailing economy at its next policy meeting next month.

Markets are now pricing in a Federal Reserve rate hike in December, which would be its first in more than nine years. The worry for many investors is that the Fed may start to point to further rate hikes in the months ahead. Super-low U.S. interest rates have been a key factor behind the stock market boom of the past few years.

ENERGY: U.S. benchmark crude fell 96 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $41.97 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, slid 50 cents, or 1 percent, to $46.12 a barrel in London.

BONDS: U.S. government bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.32 percent. The euro rose to $1.0782 from $1.0739. The yen fell to $122.76 from 122.89.

(KA)