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Energy drags down U.S. stocks       Updated:November 13 06:13

NEW YORK, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks slumped on Thursday as tumbling energy shares offset the merger deal in technology sector.

Crude oil prices slid 3 percent after government data showed a more-than-expected buildup in crude and gasoline inventories. Concerns that U.S. businesses and consumers are cutting back on energy consumption sent energy and basic material stocks tumbling, which dragged down the big board.

Meanwhile, largest U.S. retailer Wal-Mart reported that sales dropped at stores open at least one year, adding to investors' concern about a sluggish recovery of consumer spending.

Stocks put modest gains in early trading, as the 2.7-billion-U.S. dollar merger deal between Hewlett-Packard Co. and 3Com Corp. lifted market sentiment.

In economic news, U.S. Labor Department on Thursday reported the fewest weekly initial jobless claims since January this year. Data shows that first-time application for unemployment benefits dropped to a seasonally adjusted 502,000 from an upwardly revised 514,000 the previous week.

The Dow Jones lost 93.79, or 0.91 percent, to 10,197.47. Broader indexes also slid. The Standard & Poor's 500 index tumbled11.27, or 1.03 percent, to 1,087.24 and the Nasdaq dropped 17.88, or 0.83 percent, to 2,149.02.

Editor: Mu Xuequan