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GAS DEMAND FALLS, THEN DOW

Associated Press

NEW YORK -Tumbling demand for commodities and a drop in the euro led to a broad stock selloff Wednesday that pulled the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 130.33 points.

Demand for gasoline in the U.S. fell by the largest amount in seven weeks, the Energy Information Administration said, a signal that consumers are conserving money as gas prices near a national average of $4 a gallon. Crude oil fell back below $100 a barrel, a loss of more than 4 percent.

"People are becoming more conservative in their outlook and their spending as oil prices have risen, and that's making the market become more concerned about growth," said Quincy Krosby, the chief strategist at Prudential Financial.

Stocks fell broadly, with energy and materials companies suffering the worst declines. The Dow lost 1 percent to close at 12,630.03. The S&P 500 fell 15.08, or 1.1 percent, to 1,342.08. The Nasdaq composite lost 26.83, or 0.9 percent, to 2,845.06.

"Every time that stocks start to go down a little bit, you're seeing more selling pile on because people have made so much profit over the past nine months," said Uri Landesman, president of Platinum Partners, a New York hedge fund.

The market's losses accelerated shortly before noon Wednesday. The dollar and government bond prices rose as traders moved money into safer assets. The dollar rose 0.8 percent against a group of other major currencies. The euro dropped 1.5 percent against the dollar.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.16 percent from 3.22 percent late Tuesday.

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