U.S. stocks continue to drop after sharp selloff

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U.S. stocks tumbled in the morning session Tuesday, a day after the market's biggest rout since October, as crude prices fell further.

At midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 172.78 points, or 0.99 percent, to 17,328.87. The S&P 500 dipped 20.97 points, or 1.04 percent, to 1,999.61. The Nasdaq Composite Index went down 67. 15 points, or 1.44 percent, to 4,585.43.

U.S. crude for February delivery continued to slide Tuesday, touching a session low of 47.74 dollars a barrel. In the previous session it shed below the psychologically important level of 50 dollars a barrel for the first time since April 2009.

U.S. crude prices have already dived more than 50 percent since its latest peak in June 2014 on concerns of global supply glut and lackluster demand.

Putting a damper on the stock market, economic data also came in negative. U.S. service sector output growth eased to a 10-month low in December, said financial data firm Markit in a report Tuesday.

The seasonally adjusted final U.S. Services Business Activity Index registered 53.3 in December, down from 56.2 in November and the lowest since February 2014, Markit said.

The Non-Manufacturing Index registered 56.2 percent in December, 3.1 percentage points lower than the November reading, said the Institute for Supply Management in its monthly survey.

Moreover, the Commerce Department said in a separate report that the new orders for manufactured goods in November decreased 0. 7 percent, slightly exceeding market consensus of a 0.6-percent drop. Endite

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