Stocks Tumbled at Open, Oil Prices Plunged

U.S. stocks opened sharply lower and crude-oil prices plunged on Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 489.05 points, or 1.95%, to 24,538.02. The S&P 500 dropped 51.69 points, or 1.91%, to 2,648.37. The Nasdaq Composite declined 131.22 points, or 1.83%, to 7,027.20.

Crude-oil prices plunged anew early Thursday amid a closely watched OPEC gathering in Vienna, where major producers have yet to reach an agreement on anticipated output cuts. West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery lost $2.06, or 3.9%, to $50.83 a barrel. February Brent crude traded $2.26, or 3.7%, to $59.67 a barrel.

The U.S. trade deficit jumped to a 10-year high in October as soybean exports dropped further and imports of consumer goods rose to a record high. The Commerce Department said the trade deficit increased 1.7 percent to $55.5 billion.

Sears Holdings Corp (SHLDQ.PK) Chairman Eddie Lampert’s ESL Partners LP has submitted a $4.6 billion bid to buy the bankrupt retailer, the hedge fund said on Thursday.

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