US STOCKS-Wall St. falls as oil's multi-year low adds to investor fears

viernes 11 de diciembre de 2015 16:26 GYT

* Oil plunges to seven-year lows

* Fed to decide on interest rate hike next week

* Volatility index at its highest since early October

* DuPont, Dow Chemical fall after agreeing to merge

* Indexes down: Dow 1.8 pct, S&P 2 pct, Nasdaq 2.1 pct (Updates to late afternoon, adds commentary, changes byline)

By Marcus Howard

Dec 11 (Reuters) - All three major U.S. indexes were down sharply on Friday afternoon, heading for their worst week in a month, as the price of crude oil dropped to around a seven-year low and investors braced for the first U.S. interest rate hike in nearly a decade.

Investors were nervous about making risky bets as they also worried about declines in China's yuan and high-yield debt markets after an investment fund announced the liquidation of a credit fund.

"It hasn't been any one thing today, it's been an accumulation of concerns as the week has worn on," said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles. "Positioning has been clearly along the lines of taking risk exposure off."   Continuación...