Oil price fall hits US energy stocks



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(Close): Stocks on Wall Street tumbled on Wednesday, with energy shares seeing some of the biggest falls as the oil price slid to a fresh five-year low.

The price of Brent crude fell to $65.24 a barrel - its lowest since September 2009 - before recovering slightly.

The Dow Jones dropped 268 points to 17,533.15. Among oil stocks, Exxon Mobil slid 3%. and Chevron fell 2%.

The S&P 500 index dropped 33 points to 2,026.14, while the Nasdaq was 82 points lower at 4,684.03.

"It's a sea of red, a uniform purge that is related to concerns about global demand," said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott, told Reuters.

"We've had this oil issue lingering over the market, and OPEC trimming their forecast is weighing on equity investors, who had precipitated the concerns about global demand way back in September," he continued.

Shares in Yum Brands fell 6.2% to $70.53 after the KFC owner cut its annual profit forecast for the year, due to slower sales in China.

Yum said its full-year profit growth would be a "mid-single-digit" percentage, down from the 10% it forecast in October. Earlier in the year, the firm had predicted growth of at least 20%.

Costco shares fell 2%, after initially rising, after it reported its quarterly profit. Net income for the quarter to 23 November increased to $496m, up from $425m a year earlier.