US stocks slump ahead of Fed meeting

New York, Dec 12 (IANS) The US stocks plummeted on Friday as investors were cautious ahead of a US Federal Reserve policy meeting, which is expected to raise interest rate for the first time in nearly a decade.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 309.54 points, or 1.76 percent, to 17,265.21. The S&P 500 moved down 39.86 points, or 1.94 percent, to 2,012.37. The Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 111.71 points, or 2.21 percent, to 4,933.47, Xinhua news agency reported.

Oil prices dived to near sever-year low after the decision of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) last Friday to keep crude production pumping at current level in an already oversupplied market.

The declining crude prices knocked down shares of major oil companies.

On the economic front, in the week ending December 5, the advance figure for seasonally adjust initial claims was 282,000, an increase of 13,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 269,000, according to the US Labour Department on Thursday.

The four-week moving average was 270,750, an increase of 1,500 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 269,250.

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