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Stocks stumble...Oil prices slide...Small companies take hit...Home sales slow...Mexico mining spill

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks have started the week with their biggest tumble since early August. The S&P 500 dropped 16 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,994. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 107 points, or 0.6 percent, to 17,172.68. And the Nasdaq composite dropped 52 points, or 1.1 percent, to 4,527.69. The losses were broad with all 10 industry sectors in the S&P 500 down.

NEW YORK (AP) — Crude oil futures prices have ended lower on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The near-month contract for the benchmark grade fell 89 cents -- closing at $91.52 a barrel. Soft economic data from China has investors concerned that growth in the world's second-largest economy is slowing. That, along with increased production in Libya, helped drive oil prices down and also weighed on energy stocks.

NEW YORK (AP) — Smaller companies have been taking a hit in the stock market. They were also among the biggest decliners as investors shunned the riskier parts of the market today. The Russell 2000, which tracks small-company stocks, fell 1.5 percent. The Russell has dropped 3 percent so far this year, compared with gains of 7.9 percent for the S&P 500 and 3.6 percent for the Dow.

NEW YORK (AP) — A report showing fewer Americans bought homes last month is weighing on homebuilding stocks. The National Association of Realtors says sales of existing homes fell 1.8 percent in August, following four months of gains. Analysts say if the trend continues, it could dent consumers' confidence. Kristina Hooper at Allianz Global Investors says the drop in home sales "speaks to much of middle-class America," because the largest component of their net worth is their home.

CANANEA, Mexico (AP) — Authorities in northern Mexico have issued a binational alert over contamination from a copper mine that spilled into a waterway that flows into Arizona. The Sonora state civil protection agency says contamination from the Buenavista del Cobre mine has made it into the San Pedro River, but there's no word on how much leaked or what was in the contaminants. The mine operator says storm water from Hurricane Odile (oh-DEEL') caused mine water to leach into creeks and streams.

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