The equity markets sold off on Wednesday following a clobbering of the major European indexes with significant intraday losses across the U.S. benchmarks. Lower than expected results on retail sales and PPI combined with the report of a second health care worker infected with Ebola pushed stocks lower while the VIX volatility index hit its highest point since December 2011. An afternoon rebound saw the major indexes well off their lows or into positive territory.
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Nymex crude oil fell for the third consecutive day losing $0.06 or 0.07% to settle at $81.78 per barrel, the lowest point in over two years. Gold gained $10.50 on the session settling at $1,244.80 per ounce up 0.85%.
The major benchmarks were under pressure all day with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) losing over 450 points at session lows before rallying close at 16,141.74 down 173.45 points or 1.06%. The broader S&P 500 index (INDEXSP:GSPC) fell 0.81% to close at 1,862.49 down 15.21 points.
The NASDAQ Composite (NASDAQ:IXIC) briefly crept into positive territory before sliding back down to close at 4,215.32 down 24.48 points or 0.28%. The NASDAQ 100 lost 0.64% to close at 3,785.97 down 24.48 points.
The Small cap Russell 2000 bucked the selloff and gained 10.92 points to close up 1.03% at 1,072.50. The Fox50 closed at 1,329.79 down 1.19% or 16.01 points.