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Bill Stone, chief investment strategist for PNC Wealth Management, called Tuesday’s decline “fairly rational,” considering how much the market has climbed and the economic worries in Greece and the rest of Europe.

“You need the pullback to give people opportunities to want to get involved again,” Stone said.

Oil prices slipped $1.56 to $105.16 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. New York crude has risen from $96 last month amid fears of a disruption in global oil supplies driven by the potential for military conflict with Iran.

The price of gold fell $32 per ounce, or 2.1 percent, to $1,672 per ounce. Silver, platinum and copper all fell more than 2 percent because of concerns about Europe and weaker economic demand in China.

“Global growth fears now are hitting home, and we’re seeing selling across the board,” said Matt Zeman, a market analyst for Kingsview Financial.

Yields on U.S. government debt also fell as investors moved their money into what they perceive to be a safer asset. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.95 percent from 2.01 percent late Monday. Bond yields fall when their prices rise.

Among stocks making big moves:

• Weight loss company Nutrisystem Inc. fell 10 percent after it reported a bigger-than-expected fourth-quarter loss and a disappointing outlook.

• General Motors fell 5.4 percent after saying it will pay €304 million, or $402 million, for a 7 percent stake in Peugeot, which will make it the French carmaker’s second-largest shareholder after the Peugeot family.

• VeriFone Systems Inc. rose 6.5 percent after the maker of electronic payment systems predicted a bigger-than-expected 2012 profit.

• Apple fell 0.6 percent one day before the expected release of its iPad 3 tablet computer.

AP writer Sandy Shore contributed to this article.