Stocks slide as oil rebounds ahead of colder weather

NEW YORK (AP) – Wall Street fell moderately in early trading Monday as crude oil prices rose on expectations that wintry weather will finally arrive in the U.S.

Oil prices fell below $56 a barrel on expectations the unusually warm weather seen so far this winter would curb energy demand. However, there are now forecasts that colder weather is on the way _ and that could increase demand for fuel like heating oil.

A barrel of light sweet crude rose 89 cents to $57.20 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The impact of higher oil offset a number of takeover deals announced that originally pushed stock futures higher before the opening bell.

In midmorning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 33.08, or 0.27 percent, to 12,364.93.

Broader stock indicators also fell. The Standard ‘ Poor’s 500 index was down 2.24, or 0.16 percent, to 1,407.47, and the Nasdaq composite index dropped 3.65, or 0.15 percent, to 2,430.60.

Bonds fell, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rising to 4.66 percent from 4.65 percent late Friday. The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices rose.

General Electric Co. fell 25 cents to $37.31 after agreeing to acquire oil and gas fields equipment supplier Vetco Gray for about $1.9 billion.

Pharmacy benefit manager Caremark Rx Inc. fell 74 cents to $55.61 after it rejected a $26 billion takeover bid from rival Express Scripts Inc. late Sunday. Caremark said it prefers a $22.2 billion offer from drug store chain CVS Corp. Express Scripts was off 31 cents at $68.55, while CVS rose 2 cents to $31.15.

Seattle Genetics Inc. rose $1.24, or 23 percent, to $6.54 after it struck a deal with Genentech Inc. on the development and commercialization of a cancer drug. Genentech fell 11 cents to $83.57.

RadioShack Corp. rose $1.82, or 10.3 percent, to $18.63 after saying its fourth-quarter profit will come in above year-earlier levels.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies was down 4.74,or 0.61 percent, at 771.13.

Overseas, Japan’s stock market was closed for a holiday. In afternoon trading, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.26 percent, Germany’s DAX index was up 0.12 percent, and France’s CAC-40 was up 0.09 percent.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by about 3 to 2 on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 278 million shares.

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