Stocks Plunge as Oil Tumbles

U.S. stocks tumbled on Wednesday as a gloomy prediction for global oil demand sent crude prices plunging again. At close, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 268.05 points, or 1.51%, to 17,533.15. The S&P 500 lost 33.68 points, or 1.64%, to 2,026.14. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 82.44 points, or 1.73 percent, to 4,684.03.

Crude oil prices hit fresh five- year lows Wednesday after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) slashed estimates over how much crude it will need to produce in 2015. Light, sweet crude for delivery in January declined $2.88, or 4.5%, to settle at $60.94 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. January Brent crude slid $2.60, or 3.9%, to $64.24 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) said Wednesday it has appointed Judith McKenna to the role of chief operating officer, Walmart U.S. McKenna is replacing Gisel Ruiz, who has been appointed executive vice president of the company’s international people division.

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