USshares slide on China stock sell-off

US stocks fell yesterday as concerns about the global economy&rsquo;s health weighed on Wall Street following a sell-off in Chinese equities.<br /><br />Energy shares led the decline after the sharp drop in China&rsquo;s main stock index, while oil slipped below $70 a barrel on increased worries about global energy demand.<br /><br />Shares of Chevron tumbled 1.1 percent to $69.94 and Exxon Mobil dropped 1.4 per cent to $69.15. The S&amp;P Energy index was down 1.8 per cent.<br /><br />The Shanghai Composite index fell nearly 7 per cent to a three-month low on fears that China&rsquo;s government is trying to moderate economic growth and choke off speculation in its stock market by tightening bank lending.<br /><br />&ldquo;China is a very important engine of growth to the rest of the world,&rdquo; said Craig Hester, chief executive of Hester Capital Management.<br /><br />&ldquo;People need to see China continue its growth, and a slowdown in the stock market there will slow us down, too.&rdquo;<br /><br />Heading into a traditionally soft period of the year for stocks, investors are increasingly becoming more worried about a pullback after a 50 per cent rally from multi-year closing lows in March.<br /><br />Despite the day&rsquo;s lacklustre performance, the Dow ended August up 3.5 per cent, while the S&amp;P 500 advanced 3.4 per cent and Nasdaq gained 1.5 per cent.<br /><br />The Dow Jones industrial average fell 47.92 points, or 0.50 per cent, to end at 9,496.28. The Standard &amp; Poor&rsquo;s 500 Index shed 8.31 points, or 0.81 per cent, to 1,020.62. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 19.71 points, or 0.97 per cent, to close at 2,009.06. The weakness in energy and financial stocks overshadowed the news of two large mergers yesterday.<br /><br />Walt Disney agreed to buy Marvel Entertainment for $4bn, while Baker Hughes said it would buy BJ Services for $5.5bn. Marvel shares soared 25.2 per cent to $48.37, while BJ Services&rsquo; stock was up 4.1 per cent at $16.06