Investors grew more pessimistic over the state of the global economy heading into the new year, pushing stocks lower on Wednesday. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde warned that 2016 growth will likely be constrained. Crude oil spiraled lower again after weekly inventories data showed an unexpected increase in the past week. Analysts had expected crude stocks to decline as U.S. oil companies dial back production. An unseasonably warm November did little good for the housing market. A measure of pending home sales showed a surprise decline in November, continuing to contract after hitting a nine-year high in May. Icahn Enterprises (IEP) and Pep Boys (PBY) have formally announced a $1 billion merger after much back and forth. Bridgestone, a former contender for the auto shop chain, declined to raise its bid. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York.
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