US STOCKS-Wall St slides along with crude prices
* Energy is only S&P 500 sector up; banks, utilities big losers
* Petsmart to be acquired by private equity consortium
* Indexes off: Dow 0.6 pct, S&P 0.6 pct, Nasdaq 0.9 pct (Updates to early afternoon, changes comment)
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Dec 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks slid on Monday with investors shunning risk as oil prices tumbled to fresh 5-1/2 year lows.
Brent neared $60 per barrel at its session low and U.S. crude dipped under $56. Both have fallen nearly 50 percent from highs in June.
The S&P 500 was trading below its 50-day moving average for the first time since October 28.
"The continued free fall in crude is the main thing here," said Uri Landesman, president at Platinum Partners in New York, adding the S&P 500 could test 1,750.
"The irony of this (decline) is you could argue the cause is going to be good news for the economy," he said, citing lower gasoline prices as a boost to consumer spending. Continuación...