Stocks Plunge On European Economic Sentiment

Better than expected initial jobless claims data was not enough to overcome a wave of negative sentiment as the markets gave up Wednesday’s gains following pessimistic comments by European Central Bank president Mario Draghi.  The Energy sector was particularly hard hit as crude oil process continued to sink lower.

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Crude oil prices continued to move downward sliding to the lowest point in almost two years settling at $85.77 per barrel down $1.54 or 1.76%.  Gold was one of the few gainers on the day rising $19.30 to settle at $1,225.3 per ounce up 1.6%.

The major benchmarks all sold off with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) seeing largest drop in 16 months to close at 16,659.25 down 1.97% or 334.97 points.   The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:GSPC) was down over two percent shedding 40.68 points to close at 1,928.21.

The NASDAQ Composite (NASDAQ:IXIC) was also down over 2% losing 90.25 points to close at 4,378.34 while the NASDAQ 100 lost 71.80 points or 1.78% to close at 3,969.32.

The Small cap Russell 2000 slipped back into correction territory losing 2.66% or 29.13 points to close at 1,067.99.  The Fox50 closed at 1,379.54 down 1.78% or 25.07 points.