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US markets follow global stocks lower as economic worries intensify and oil prices slide further

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U.S. stocks opened sharply lower following steep market declines all around the world as concerns about global economic weakness intensified.

Bank stocks were hit hard Thursday as investors worried that interest rates in the U.S. and elsewhere would remain low. Citigroup and Bank of America both dropped 5 percent. Oil prices fell below $27 for the second time this year and dragged down shares of energy companies.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 245 points, or 1.5 percent, to 15,669 as of 9:35 a.m. Eastern time.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 26 points, or 1.44 percent, to 1,825. The Nasdaq composite fell 56 points, or 1.3 percent, to 4,226.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.60 percent.

PHOTO: A currency trader looks at the computer monitors near the screens showing the foreign exchange rates and the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) at the foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016. Asian stocks shuddered again Thursday, led by sharp drops in Hong Kong and South Korea, which were catching up to global market turmoil after being shut for Lunar New Year holidays.(AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
A currency trader looks at the computer monitors near the screens showing the foreign exchange rates and the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) at the foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016. Asian stocks shuddered again Thursday, led by sharp drops in Hong Kong and South Korea, which were catching up to global market turmoil after being shut for Lunar New Year holidays.(AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

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PHOTO: A currency trader looks at the computer monitors near the screens showing the foreign exchange rates and the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) at the foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016. Asian stocks shuddered again Thursday, led by sharp drops in Hong Kong and South Korea, which were catching up to global market turmoil after being shut for Lunar New Year holidays.(AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
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