U.S. markets opened under pressure Monday, following lower than expected economic data out of China and Japan, but as oil continued its slide, the market selloff gathered momentum. Energy stocks were amongst the hardest hit and the S&P 500 Energy sector fell 3.91%, as oil prices closed in on five year lows.
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Nymex Crude Oil experienced its third largest drop of the year, plummeting 4.24% to settle at $63.05 per barrel, down $2.79. Gold prices climbed as the precious metal gained 0.38% to settle at $1,194.9 per ounce, up $4.5.
All of the major benchmarks ended in negative territory, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 106.31 points to close at 17,852.48 down 0.59%. The S&P 500 slid 15.06 points, or 0.73%, closing at 2,060.31.
The NASDAQ Composite shed 0.84% to close at 4,740.69 down 40.07 points. The NASDAQ 100 closed at 4,278.34, down 1.28% or 33.23 points.
The Small cap Russell 2000 was hard hit, losing 1.28% on the day, closing at 1,167.31 down 15.12 points. The Fox50 closed at 1,449.05 down 11.10 points or 0.76%.