Energy Sector Leads Decline in Stocks

Energy Sector Leads Decline in Stocks

NEW YORK (AP) -- Falling oil prices continued to weigh on U.S. and global stock markets on Tuesday, as investors remained deeply concerned about the global economy following this week's disappointing Chinese and U.S. manufacturing data. Google's parent company, Alphabet, overtook Apple as the world's most valuable publicly traded company.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 227 points, or 1.4 percent, to 16,221 as of 10:09 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 23 points, or 1.2 percent, to 1,916 and the Nasdaq composite fell 42 points, or 0.9 percent, to 4,577.

GLOBAL FEARS: It's a busy week on the economic data front, particularly in the U.S., where the week ends with monthly payroll figures. So far, the numbers haven't impressed. On Monday, the Institute for Supply Management said its gauge of factory activity pointed to a contraction while China's official survey found that manufacturing fell to its lowest level in more than three years.

OIL SLIDE: The two reports weighed heavily on oil prices, and the selling pressure continued on Tuesday. Benchmark U.S. oil was down $1.51, or 4.9 percent, to $30.09 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, a day after it plunged nearly 6 percent. Brent crude was down $1.66, or 4.9 percent, to $32.60 a barrel in London.

Energy companies, as has been the case for several weeks now, followed oil prices lower. Exxon Mobil fell $1.90, or 2.5 percent, to $74.43 and Chevron fell $2.91, or 3.4 percent, to $82.34.

NEW TECH TITAN: Alphabet, the recently formed parent company of Google, rose $32.34, or 4 percent, to $784.08 after the company's results handily beat analysts' forecasts late Monday. With Tuesday's gains, Alphabet is now the largest publicly traded company by market value, overtaking Apple.

BARBIE BONANZA: Mattel rose $3.02, or 11 percent, to $29.80 after the company reported higher profits and revenue in the company's closely watched fourth quarter. It was helped by sales of Barbie dolls.

ASIA'S DAY: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 finished 0.6 percent lower and South Korea's Kospi fell 1 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.8 percent. Stocks in Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines also were lower.

BONDS, CURRENCIES: U.S. government bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.88 percent from 1.95 percent late Monday. The dollar rose to 120.34 yen from 120.12 yen on Monday. The euro strengthened to $1.0922 from $1.0895.