We’ve been distracted by the shiny object of gold, but black gold is taking it even worse.
Nymex crude is down 4.6% to $87.74 a barrel, the lowest since February.
The energy sector is, as you’d expect, the worst-performing sector in the stock market. Energy stocks in the S&P 500 are down 4.6%. Materials are down 4.2%.
Gold futures got knocked off their record highs as panic selling in equity markets spread to other assets.
Gold prices climbed to a record $1,684.90/troy ounce earlier as investors sought to shelter their wealth from escalating concerns about economic growth.
But as losses in stock markets piled up, some investors were forced to sell their gold holdings to cover a wave of margin calls.
Markets are getting destroyed today on a raft of concerns about the economy. Most notable is the crisis in Greece, which is watching its stock market evaporate, even after a recent bailout of Greece that was designed to stem the contagion.
This is just part of the story, of course. US data continues to come in weak, and the budget tightening associated with the debt ceiling deal has the markets remembering past premature tightenings in the middle of the recessino (Hello, 1931).
This is the worst of a big, multi-day selloff. Stocks had been falling for 8 straight days prior to yesterday, when some headlines about QE3 saved the day.