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Wall Street opens slightly lower dragged by energy

After closing the previous day with modest gains, major equity indexes in the United States opened the day slightly lower on Thursday. As of writing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was losing 0.2% on the day while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were both erasing 0.1%.

A sharp drop witnessed in crude oil prices seems to be weighing on the S&P 500 Energy Index today, which is down 0.8% to lead the losses at the moment. Earlier in the day, the barrel of West Texas Intermediate lost more than 2% and dropped to $51 before rebounding to $51.65 area, where it was dropping 1.2% on a daily basis. Russian Energy Minister Novak recently said that they could accelerate cuts in the oil output to help crude oil prices rebound in the last hour.

Among winners, the defensive S&P 500 Utilities and the Real Estate indexes are up 0.3% and 0.15%. Meanwhile, today's data from the U.S. showed that the weekly jobless claims fell to 213K from 216K last week and the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index improved to 17 in January to beat the market expectation of 10.

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