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US: Stocks fall at the opening bell


[NEW YORK] US stocks followed European equity markets lower in opening trade on Friday on worries about plunging oil prices.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 17,504.25, down 92.09 points.

The broad-based S&P 500 fell 9.15 to 2,026.18, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index declined 22.08 to 4,686.08.

Oil prices have dropped nearly 50 per cent since June. Although lower prices mean consumers have higher disposable income, analysts have expressed anxiety at the speed of the decline.

Oil fell again Friday after the International Energy Agency slashed its demand forecast.