Stocks took a beating after the head of Europe's central bank unveiled monetary stimulus that fell short of investors' expectations. The Dow closed down 251 points, while the S&P 500 fell almost 30 points, its biggest decline since September 28, turning negative for the year. And the Nasdaq plunged 85 points.
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After closing below the key level of $40 per barrel Wednesday, oil rebounded ahead of Friday's big OPEC meeting. The group of 12 oil exporting nations will decide whether to cut output to raise the price of oil. Crude gained 2.9% during trade to settle at $41.08 per barrel.
And the biggest drag on markets, the energy sector, tanked on those same OPEC jitters. Chesapeake (NYSE:CHK), Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMP) and Southwestern Energy (NYSE:SWN) showed major signs of distress into the close.
One bright spot Thursday was Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX). The video streaming giant touched an all-time high for the second day in a row. Netflix is the best performing stock in the S&P 500 so far for 2015, gaining 164%.
Solar stocks booked healthy gains for the day. The jump in oil prices as as well as a potential new emissions reduction deal in Paris pushed the biggest names higher including SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY), Sunedison (NYSE:SUNE), SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) and Sunrun (NASDAQ:RUN).