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Stocks sell off...Oil drops again...Average gas price nears $2...US to back climate accord



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NEW YORK (AP) — Investors are reeling after a slump in oil prices sparked Friday's global sell-off in financial markets. The Dow Jones industrial average lost over 309 points, or 1.8 percent, closing at 17,265. The S&P 500 index lost nearly 40 points, or 1.9 percent, ending the day at 2,012. And the Nasdaq composite declined nearly 112 points, or 2.2 percent, to 4,933.

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. benchmark crude oil is at its lowest level since early 2009. It plunged $1.14, or 3 percent yesterday, to close at $35.62 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, fell $1.80, or 4.5 percent, to $37.93 a barrel in London on Friday. Futures fell after the International Energy Agency said the oversupply in oil will persist until late next year.

DALLAS (AP) — Gasoline is close to breaking a key psychological barrier as drivers enjoy some of the cheapest pump prices since the recession. The nationwide average price of a gallon of regular Saturday was $2.02, down 58 cents from this time last year, according to auto club AAA. Experts say it could drop below $2 in the coming days.

LE BOURGET, France (AP) — The U.S. envoy to the climate talks in France says the United States will agree to the draft climate change accord. Todd Stern spoke to reporters Saturday shortly before negotiators from nearly 200 countries were to begin their final meeting at the conference site outside Paris. The unprecedented deal to slow global warming begins by cutting and then eliminating greenhouse gas pollution.

UNDATED (AP) —Pep Boys has agreed to be acquired by Bridgestone for $863 million in cash after the tires and auto service company sweetened its offer following a bid from Carl Icahn's investment firm. Pep Boys - Manny, Moe & Jack, based in Philadelphia, has about 800 locations around the country that sells auto parts and repairs vehicles. Bridgestone Corp. is based in Tokyo.

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The Associated Press

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