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Stocks Slide on Crude Selloff Ahead of OPEC Meeting

Wall Street had little reason to extend a mid-week rally through Friday's session as crude oil tumbled ahead of a weekend meeting between key oil-producing countries.

The S&P 500 dropped 0.1% at the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq each slid 0.16%.

Crude oil held near session lows on Friday afternoon, even as the number of active oil rigs in the U.S. declined. A weekly oil rig count from Baker Hughes showed the number of crude-oil drilling rigs fell by 3 to 351 in the past week.

Worries over whether the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries can agree on a production agreement flared ahead of a meeting in Doha, Qatar, between OPEC members and Russia. The countries could decide to freeze production at current levels, though many remain skeptical that Iran, which only recently had sanctions lifted, will agree to a deal.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil closed 2.8% lower at $40.36 a barrel on Friday. Prices are still higher since the beginning of the year, but have fallen 35%...