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European Concerns Keep US Stocks Down Another Day

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Investors are clearly concerned about the U.S. and European economies.  Stocks were down at the close of trading yet again Tuesday. The Dow closed down 76.44 points, or 0.6 percent, the fifth consecutive down day for the Dow. The S&P and Nasdaq were both down about 0.4 percent.

Still, there was a silver lining for the markets.  Crude oil settled at $97.01, down 93 cents in New York trading Tuesday.  This was the fifth straight day that oil has traded lower.  With falling global crude oil prices, the Department of Energy forecasts that the average price of regular gasoline for the April through September driving season will be $3.79 per gallon, 16 cents lower than the previous forecast.  Adjusted for inflation, this price would be about the same as last year's average during the summer months.
 
Meanwhile, the Labor Department said that employers advertised 3.74 million job openings in March. That’s the most since July 2008, just before the financial crisis took hold. According to this data, there were 3.4 unemployed people competing for each open position. This means that the current increase in jobs could likely continue.  That said, it's not clear if the pace of hiring will pick up dramatically in the near future. At the worst of the job market, there were about seven people competing for each open position.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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