NEW YORK (AP) _ Stock prices are lower in heavy trading. The Dow Jones industrial average is down 55 points in today's early going. Decliners on the New York Stock Exchange hold a 6-1 lead over advancers.

The Nasdaq Composite Index has lost 19 points and the Standard & Poor's 500 Stock Index is down eight points.

Analysts expected stocks to open sharply lower after today's poor showing in markets around the world.

In addition, it's a triple-witching session as the options on stocks, stock indexes and the futures on the index products expire. That means greater volume, and since it's the last triple-witching session of the year, the expectation is that volume and volatility may be greater than usual.