US Stocks Drop in Early Trade Monday

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks are dropping in early trading Monday as investors dump energy companies on lower oil prices. Benchmark U.S. crude is trading near its closing low for the year following a decision by OPEC last week not to cut production.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 114 points, or 0.4 percent, to 17,729 as of 10:20 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 14 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,077. The Nasdaq composite declined 30 points, or 0.6 percent, to 5,111.

ENERGY DROP: Oil drillers and other energy companies are falling sharply as benchmark U.S. crude continues its 1 year tumble. U.S. crude fell $1.38 cents, or 3 percent, to $38.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after a sharp slide on Friday. Natural gas prices also fell. Among energy stocks, Consol Energy plunged $1.01, or 13 percent, to $6.72 and Chesapeake Energy lost 32 cents, or 7 percent, to $4.23.

THE QUOTE: Friday's OPEC meeting was "decidedly bearish," oil consultants Ritterbusch and Associates wrote in a note to clients, "given the Saudis' complete disregard for any serious discussion regarding production cuts or even quotas."

TAKING OFF: Airline stocks rose sharply as investors anticipated that lower fuel costs would help the companies fatten their profit margins. JetBlue Airways jumped $1.42, or 5.6 percent, to $26.90, Southwest Airlines rose $1.54, or 3.1 percent, to $50.98 and Delta Air Lines gained $1.43, or 2.9 percent, to $51.20.

CHIPOTLE TUMBLE: Chipotle Mexican Grill dropped $26.15, or nearly 5 percent, to $535.05. The restaurant chain warned late Friday that an outbreak of E. coli linked to its restaurants sent sales plummeting by as much as 22 percent in recent weeks.

COFFEE JOLT: Keurig Green Mountain soared 74 percent after agreeing to be acquired by a private equity firm. The stock jumped $38.32 to $90.02.

EUROPE'S DAY: The CAC-40 in France was 1.3 percent higher while Germany's DAX rose 1.8 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 was 0.2 percent higher.

CHINA DATA: Much focus this week will fall on China, the world's No. 2 economy, as investor continue to worry about slowing growth in the world's No. 2 economy. Trade data are due on Tuesday, inflation on Wednesday and retail sales, industrial production and fixed asset investment on Saturday.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 jumped 1 percent, China's Shanghai Composite gained 0.3 percent and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.1 percent. South Korea's Kospi fell 0.5 percent.

BONDS: U.S. government bond prices edged up. The yield on the 10-yearTreasury note fell to 2.25 percent from 2.27 percent on Friday.

(KA)