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Stocks Slip as Crude Oil Trades Near 6-Week Low


Stocks were modestly lower by midday Monday as crude oil traded near a six-week low and the energy sector sold off.

The S&P 500 was down 0.28%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.16%, and the Nasdaq slid 0.05%.

Crude oil prices were under pressure on Monday as fears of the Chinese economy continued to pressure commodities. The People's Bank of China's decision on Friday to cut rates fed concerns that the world's second-largest economy was suffering slower growth than reported. West Texas Intermediate was down 0.7% to $44.27 a barrel, cents from its lowest level since mid-September.

A number of heavy-hitters in the oil patch are due to report this week, including Exxon Mobil (XOM - Get Report) , Chevron (CVX - Get Report) , and Phillips 66 (PSX - Get Report) . Analysts have already priced in a steep drop in sales as oil prices continue to tumble.

The energy sector was the worst performer on markets Monday. Industry giants such as Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A - Get Report) , PetroChina (PTR - Get Report) , Total (TOT) , BP (BP) , and Schlumberger (SLB) were lower, while the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) slid 2%.

Investors were also looking ahead to the Federal Reserve's meeting later this week. The Fed will convene for a two-day meeting on Tuesday with an announcement on interest rates due for Wednesday afternoon. While few expect the Fed to hike rates in the coming week, the key...