U.S. light crude dropped $2.97 to $74.21 per barrel, its lowest close since September 2010. Brent crude for December delivery fell 3.17%, or $2.55, to $77.83, its lowest intraday price since 2010.
The oil prices declined on fears that China's economy could slow further. China's economy slowed in October, as factory growth dropped and investment growth hit an almost 13-year low.
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Saudi Arabia has also stayed mum about a possible production cut.
More than 4.7 million shares had changed hands as of 3:14 p.m., compared to the average volume of 4,188,770.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates PATTERSON-UTI ENERGY INC as a "buy" with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate PATTERSON-UTI ENERGY INC (PTEN) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."