Stocks Closed Lower for 3rd Straight Day

U.S. stocks closed lower for a third-straight day on Wednesday, as earlier gains evaporated alongside a turn south in crude-oil prices. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 75.70 points, or 0.43%, to 17,492.30. The S&P 500 was down 15.97 points, or 0.77%, to 2,047.62. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 75.38 points, or 1.48%, to 5,022.87.

Oil prices remained volatile in Wednesday trading as financial markets have come under pressure this week on oversupply concerns after OPEC countries decided to maintain current production levels. January West Texas Intermediate crude settled at $37.16 a barrel, down 35 cents, or 0.9%, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

More American households make up the middle class than 40 years ago, yet they comprise a smaller share of overall wealth. In early 2015, there were 120.8 million adults in middle-income households versus 70.3 million in lower-income and 51 million in upper-income households, according to a new analysis of government data by the Pew Research Center, a nonprofit think tank in Washington, D.C.

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