Wall Street dips as oil price tumbles

on January 13 2010 10:56 AM

Stocks edged lower on Wednesday as a fall in the price of oil weighed on energy shares and Google Inc slumped after it said it might withdraw from China, weighing on the Nasdaq.

Oil fell after an industry inventory report showed big jumps in stocks of refined products. That added to concern about Chinese moves to cool its economy by increasing reserve requirements at local banks, hitting commodity prices.

China is the most important in terms of driving economic growth around the world, said Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co in New York. I don't think people should ignore their attempts to cool things down now.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 10.65 points, or 0.10 percent, to 10,616.61. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 2.96 points, or 0.26 percent, to 1,133.26. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> lost 7.36 points, or 0.32 percent, to 2,274.95.

The S&P 500 energy sector <.GSPE> was the weakest performer, falling 0.9 percent and weighing on the wider market. Marathon Oil Corp fell 1.2 percent to $31.85. Oil futures fell 2 percent to $78.74 per barrel.

Google's threat to withdraw from China because of censorship and cyber attacks on its systems pushed shares of rival Chinese search engine Baidu Inc up 12.32 percent to $433. Google's shares fell 1.3 percent to $578.72.

(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)

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