Oil Prices Plunge

AP Photo/Richard Drew
AP Photo/Richard Drew

Abhiram Nandakumar reports for Reuters:

Jan 20 (Reuters) – Wall Street tumbled on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 hitting its lowest since February 2014 and deepening this year’s selloff as oil prices plummeted unabated.

The stocks rout spread across the board, hitting all 10 major S&P sectors, with nine down more than 1 percent. The small-cap Russell’s 2000 index fell 3.6 percent before reducing its losses.

The New York Stock Exchange recorded 1,402 stocks at new 52-week lows, while 894 sank to new lows on the Nasdaq, the most on a single day since Aug. 24 for both exchanges.

The beaten-down S&P energy sector’s fell 4.5 percent, leading the decliners. Exxon dropped 5.9 percent and Chevron slumped 5.7 percent.

U.S. crude prices sank 6.6 percent and Brent crude slid 4.7 percent as a supply glut bumped up against bearish financial reports that deepened worries over demand.

Collapsing oil prices and fears of a slowdown in China, the world’s second largest economy and a key market for U.S. companies, has led the S&P 500 to drop 10 percent this year.

“The fear is ‘Is tomorrow going to bring more selling?’ People are not even thinking about today, they’re thinking about tomorrow,” said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.

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