Tuesday December 8. Plunging oil prices has left U.S. stocks firmly in negative territory. Shares of miners and energy companies were pushed down by a progressive slide in oil prices and fears of an economic slowdown based on China’s weak data.
For the first time since 2009, the crude in U.S. saw an alarming drop of $37 per barrel. Miner Freeport McMoran fell to around 3.6 percent, while Chevron and Exxon dropped by more than 3 percent. Exxon was the second-biggest drag on the Dow and the biggest on the S&P.
This troubling data has left Investors worried about the fall in oil prices, which evidently suggests weak demand globally.
On 9:46 a.m. Eastern time, the Dow Jones Industrial average .DJI dropped by 1.01 percent – at 17,551.23, or 179.28 points. The S&P 500 .SPX dropped down to 0.82 percent – at 2,060.04, or 17.03 points. And the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped down to 0.7 percent – at 5,066.29, or 35.52 points.
All the 10 major main S&P sectors dropped to a lower percentage with the materials index .SPLRCM dropping down by 1.61 percent. The energy index’s .SPNY also dropped to 3.29 percent, topping the list of decliners.
According to data reports, China’s imports fell for the 13th consecutive month to a low 8.7 percent in November compared to the previous year.
The central bank is expected to increase interest rates for the first time since June 2006 and investors are eagerly awaiting the U.S. Federal Reserve’s meeting which should take place around December 15-16.
Federal funds futures contracts FFcm1 suggest an 80 percent chance that the Fed will end seven years of almost nil interest rates. According to Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg he says that the Fed is still leaning heavily towards a rate hike, but it’s not confirmed yet.