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Stocks lower as crude slides...Amazon ships record number of items...Freeport-McMoRan chair steps down

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NEW YORK (AP) — A slide in crude oil prices is sending stocks lower. The Dow lost 50 points to 17,502 as of 1:24 p.m. Eastern. The S&P fell seven points to 2,053. The Nasdaq shed 20 points to 5,028. The price of U.S. crude slumped more than 3 percent on speculation that oil supplies will rise further once Iran's economic sanctions are removed. Investors worry that falling oil prices could be a signal of further economic weakness ahead.

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon says it shipped a record number of items worldwide for the holidays, with Christmas Eve the biggest day ever for deliveries using the company's Prime Now service. The service offers free two-hour delivery to more than 20 metropolitan areas. The company's Amazon Prime service, a loyalty program that includes unlimited free two-day shipping, gained 3 million new members in the third week of December alone. Amazon says Prime members shopping via mobile more than doubled.

NEW YORK (AP) — The executive chairman and co-founder of mining company Freeport-McMoRan is stepping down as plunging commodity prices lead to mass layoffs across the entire industry. James R. Moffett's announcement follows the recent revelation that activist investor Carl Icahn had taken a huge stake in the company. Freeport shares fell almost 8 percent on the news.

UNDATED (AP) — There's a dark side to those delightfully low gas prices: Housing markets are slumping in communities that were recently flush from the U.S. shale oil fracking boom. Home sales are down sharply this year in North Dakota and the West Texas cities of Midland and Odessa. Home sales have also slowed in El Paso, and, more recently, in Houston. Oil companies have abandoned drilling projects and laid off workers in those areas since the price of oil tanked.

NEW YORK (AP) — Beverage maker Honest Tea says a Donald Trump quote is being removed from its bottle caps. The company shared the news after a customer tweeted a photo of a cap with the words "If you're going to think anyway, you might as well think big. Donald Trump." The company says it's phasing out Trump's quotes and sticking with messages from people who've been dead for a while, because there's "less risk of offending" customers.

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