US STOCKS-Wall Street falls as oil prices weigh on energy sector
* Earnings season begins this week
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* Indexes off: Dow 0.49 pct, S&P 0.55 pct, Nasdaq 0.41 pct (Updates to market open)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Jan 12 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Monday, extending a two-week decline for equities, as weakness in oil prices weighed on the energy sector ahead of the start of corporate earnings season.
Oil prices continued their downward march and weighed on equities, with both Brent and U.S. crude down about 4 percent as Goldman Sachs slashed its short-term price forecasts and Gulf producers showed no signs of curbing output. The S&P energy index was down more than 2 percent.
"During this cycle, since the beginning of the precipitous selloff in the commodity price, we have seen very few days where you would have a three percent move in crude and see stock prices hold onto gains," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York.
"Investors have a lot of other things to think about, like the pace of Fed tightening, a Greek exit, the possibility of quantitative easing coming from the ECB, but in reality, we are either going to focus on energy prices or earnings will kick in and they will shift their focus to fundamentals." Continuación...