In what’s been an extremely volatile day in the stock market, the Nasdaq just turn positive with just 15 minutes to go before the closing bell.
Just ahead of 3:00 p.m. ET, the Dow was down 270 points, the S&P 500 was down 30 points, and the Nasdaq was down 50 points.
In what has been an incredibly volatile session, these steep losses are substantially off the market’s worst levels.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Dow was down 435 points, the S&P 500 was down 53 points, and the Nasdaq was down 81 points.
With Wednesday’s drop, the S&P 500 turned negative for the year.
The VIX, or volatility index, was up 22% on Wednesday to 27.5, but at one point traded hands as high as 30.8, the highest level for the index since 2011.
The drop in US stocks follows a sharp sell-off in European stocks.
Italy’s FTSE MIB closed down 4.4%, Germany’s DAX closed down 2.9%, Britain’s FTSE 100 closed down 2.8%, and France’s CAC 40 closed down 3.6%. Greece was down a whopping 6%.
Bond yields were tumbling all around the world as the US 10-year yield fell as low as 1.86%. Here’s the chart showing the remarkable drop in US 10-year yields over the past six months.
Bonds in Europe are also sinking, with the German 10-year bund falling to 0.75%.
WTI crude oil prices fell below $US81 per barrel earlier on Wednesday in what appears to be concerns over falling demand due to a slowing global economy.
“Crude oil markets have moved rapidly into surplus, not because of the growth in new production from the US and other, but equally importantly because of the rapid collapse of demand,” Citi’s Ed Morse said. “As a result, there is an emerging surplus that should weigh heavily on prices through next year.”
Big oil producers like ExxonMobil and Chevron have been getting slammed, while big drillers like Nabors and Transocean are down by over 30%.