U.S. Stocks Wobble In Early Trade; Jarden Jumps On Sale News

Wall Street ... Stock Exchange

Wall Street ... Stock Exchange

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks are wobbling in early morning trading Monday as the market comes off its biggest weekly decline since the summer. The price of oil slipped again. Traders were looking ahead to the Federal Reserve's policy meeting this week, at which the Fed is expected to raise interest rates for the first time in nine years.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average edged down 16 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,250 as of 10:19 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell four points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,007. The Nasdaq composite index slipped nine points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,923.

BAD WEEK: The market is coming off its worst week since mid-August .The S&P 500 fell four times in five days. Oil prices and energy stocks slumped, and investors were concerned that was another sign that the global economy is weak.

OIL FALLS AGAIN: Oil prices fell again on reports that Iran will increase crude production. U.S. crude has fallen for six days in a row and has hit the lowest prices in almost seven years. The price of U.S. crude skidded 35 cents, or 1 percent, to $35.27 a barrel in New York. Earlier it traded under $35 a barrel for the first time since Feb. 18, 2009.

Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, declined 57 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $37.75 a barrel in London.

The further weakening of energy prices sent oil and gas companies lower. Chevron fell 40 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $86.04. Consol Energy lost 40 cents, or 57 percent, to $6.59 and NRG Energy gave up 50 cents, or 4.9 percent, to $9.64.

TEAMING UP: Jarden Brands rose after the consumer products maker agreed to be acquired by competitor Newell Rubbermaid. The $13.2 billion deal would create a conglomerate that owns brands like Paper Mate, Sharpie, Elmer's, Rubbermaid and Calphalon.

Jarden rose $2.09, or 4 percent, to $54.77. The deal values the company at $60 per share. Newell Rubbermaid stock fell $2.72, or 6 percent, to $42.56. The deal helped lift consumer staples makers.

MATTEL RISES: Toy maker Mattel rose after an upgrade from BMO Capital Markets. BMO said Mattel shares have reached a low point and could be at the start of a strong run. The firm also praised Mattel's management and increased its price target. Mattel shares added 86 cents, or 3.3 percent, to $27.11.

FEDERAL RESERVE: The Federal Reserve will start its last meeting of the year on Tuesday, and Wednesday it's expected to raise interest rates for the first time in almost a decade. The Fed's key short-term interest rate has been close to zero since Dec. 16, 2008. The boost in rates would be a sign of confidence in the U.S. economy and would allow banks to make more money on loans.

EUROPE: In Europe, Germany's DAX was down 0.6 percent while France's CAC-40 fell 0.2 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was flat.

ASIA: In Japan, the Tankan survey of business conditions was unexpectedly strong, holding steady when forecasters expected a decline. Industrial production data from China was also better than expected.

BONDS, CURRENCIES: Bond prices fell, and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.19 percent from 2.13 percent. The dollar rose to 120.80 yen from 120.77 yen Friday. The euro inched up to $1.1024 from $1.0993.

By MARLEY JAY - Dec. 14, 2015 10:28 AM EST


Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/journalist/marley-jay.


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