U.S. stocks open lower, led by declines in energy, mining

U.S. stocks edged lower in early trading Monday, led by declines in energy and mining companies as prices for oil and other commodities fell.

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KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 84 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 17,465 as of 10 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 12 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 2,048. The Nasdaq composite shed 31 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 5,016.

FALLOUT: Several energy and mining companies were trading lower. Chevron fell $1.94, or 2.1 per cent, to $90.11, the most in the Dow. Exxon Mobil lost 89 cents, or 1.3 per cent, to $68.47. Consol Energy tumbled 66 cents, or 7.7 per cent, to $7.99, while Chesapeake Energy slid 24 cents, or 5.4 per cent, to $4.21. Mining company Freeport-McMoRan shed 39 cents, or 5.2 per cent, to $7.18.

THE FORCE EFFECT: Disney rose about 2 per cent, the second-biggest gain in the S&P 500. The media giant's blockbuster "Star Wars" sequel reached $1 billion at the box office over the weekend.

OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany's DAX fell 0.4 per cent, while France's CAC 40 was off 0.8 per cent. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei added 0.6 per cent, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 2.6 per cent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 1 per cent. The London Stock Exchange remained closed for the holiday break, as did exchanges in Ireland and Australia.

THE GLUT GOES ON: After recovering a bit last week, oil prices slid again amid reports that Iran intends to increase exports by 500,000 barrels per day once economic sanctions are removed. That would only add to excess global supplies that have helped depress oil prices.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude shed $1.29, or 3.4 per cent, to $36.82 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, lost $1.24, or 3.3 per cent, to $36.65 per barrel in London.

BONDS AND CURRENCIES: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell to 2.23 per cent from 2.25 per cent. The dollar slipped to 120.41 yen while the euro rose to $1.0977.


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