The number 28 has an eagle’s eye on our nation. We are worried that trillions of dollars are being lost at a rapid rate. Warning.
Published: Jan 20, 2016 10:28 a.m. ET
The Dow industrials plunged more than 300 points Wednesday as a renewed rout in oil prices and global equities triggered a selloff on Wall Street.
The S&P 500 SPX, -2.67% was down 41 points, or 2.2%, at 1,840 falling below its Aug. 25 closing low of 1867.61—a level viewed as key technical support point for the S&P, suggesting further moves lower may be ahead.
The energy sector was the worst performer on the S&P 500, down 4%, led by Chesapeake Energy’s CHK, -8.12% 9.5% tumble.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -2.59% dropped 332 points, or 2%, to 15,690 and the Nasdaq Composite COMP, -2.58% was off 97 points, or 2.2%, at 4,381.
International Business Machines Corp. shares IBM, -4.50% retreated 4.2% after the computer maker late Tuesday reported a drop in fourth-quarter earnings. The move in Big Blue was contributing nearly 40 points to the blue-chips benchmark’s decline.
Thestock-market rout came as stocks racked up sharp losses world-wide, fueled by oil falling below $28 a barrel and worries over an economic slowdown in China and other developing markets.
“The fledgling hope from yesterday that markets were on the turn has been quashed by sharp overnight falls in Japan and Asia,” said Rebecca O’Keeffe, head of investment at stockbroker Interactive Investor, in a note.
Read: IBM needs software to save it from prolonged downfall
Meanwhile, a flurry of economic data offered a mixed picture of the U.S. economy, but did little to hearten the gloomy sentiment hurting the market.
The U.S. consumer-price index dropped 0.1% in December, but core CPI, which excludes food and energy, rose 0.1%. Though the headline number came in lower than expected, the core was in line with economists’ expectations. For all of 2015 inflation rose just 0.7%, the second slowest rate in 50 years.
Housing starts fell 2.5% last month, missing economists’ expectations, and indicating that home builders cut back slightly on new construction in the final month of 2015.
Meanwhile, in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei NIK, -3.71% slid into bear market territory, which marks a 20% slump from a recent high. And in Europe, markets were lower across the board, with the Stoxx Europe 600 index SXXP, -3.33% almost 3% and on track for its lowest close since late 2014.
“With every upturn being followed by deeper falls, investors are increasingly wary as it becomes more and more difficult to determine what might happen next,” O’Keeffe said.
Read: China’s problems now spilling into Hong Kong
The S&P 500 index SPX, -2.67% and Dow industrials DJIA, -2.59% closed marginally higher on Tuesday following a rally in Europe, while the Nasdaq Composite COMP, -2.58% closed down 0.3%.
Oil blues: Crude oil CLG6, -5.24% hit fresh 12-year lows to trade below $28 a barrel for the February contract, which expires at the end of trade Wednesday. Crude for March delivery fell 2.4% to $28.85.
The losses weighed on U.S. oil companies, with shares of Chevron Corp. CVX, -5.69% down 4.4%, Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM, -3.59% off 2.6%, and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. APC, -6.09% 5.2% lower. Seadrill Ltd. SDRL, -20.52% slid 15.7%.