US stocks open lower amid Greek debt woes, falling oil

US stocks opened lower Thursday as investors eyed European tensions over Greeces latest debt proposal, quickly rejected by Germany, and a plunge in US oil prices to below $50 a barrel.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 17,929.77, down 100.08 points (0.56 percent).

The broad-market S&P 500 fell 8.75 (0.42 percent) to 2,090.93, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite slipped 5.60 (0.11 percent) to 4,900.77.

Germany rejected Thursday a request by Athens for a six-month extension to its EU loan program, hitting hopes that Europe and Greece can find a solution to the bitter debt row. Eurozone finance ministers are scheduled to meet Friday in Brussels Friday to consider the request.

Falling crude-oil prices also weighed on market sentiment, sending the shares of oil majors sharply lower.

The US benchmark West Texas Intermediate futures contract dived $2.89 to $49.25 in opening trade. [AFP]