More weakness in China and another slide in oil prices send US stocks sharply lower

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The U.S. stock market is sharply lower at midday as the rout in oil prices continues and a report shows more signs of weakness in China.

Materials stocks led the declines in trading Friday.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 229 points, or 1.3 per cent, to 17,366 as of noon Eastern.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 22 points, or 1 per cent, to 2,012. The Nasdaq slid 30 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 4,678.

Oil prices fell after the International Energy Agency said global oil demand in 2015 will grow less than previously forecast. The price of crude tumbled $2.37 to $57.58 a barrel in New York.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.09 per cent.