Plummeting oil futures dragged US markets down as stocks closed at a dip on Monday, with the Dow, S&P and Nasdaq all finishing at a loss.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 550 points on Monday, a drop of 2.3 percent, while the S&P 500 fell by 1.6 percent. The Nasdaq lost 0.8 percent as of the close. Heralding the decline was a precipitous drop in West Texas Intermediate oil futures, which lost over 100 percent of their value, finishing at -$37.63 per barrel in value – a record low for the commodity.
Led by the decline in oil futures, energy stocks were down in general – Chevron and Exxon Mobil lost over four percent each – and the energy and utilities sectors both lost over three percent on the S&P 500, constituting its worst-performing industries.
The coronavirus pandemic has sent the US economy into a tailspin, and despite the Fed pouring trillions of dollars in bailout cash into the markets, they have remained depressed as over 22 million jobs have been lost. The economic repercussions of the virus have been felt globally, with experts warning the resulting depression could be the worst in a lifetime.
The economic downturn has led to a decline in oil demand which – coupled with a glut in supply – triggered a panic on Monday as investors sought to unload their futures contracts all at once lest they be left holding the proverbial bag.
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