U.S. stocks were hammered on Thursday, as investors continued to fret over the dropping price of oil.
Crude oil dipped below $40 per barrel early on Thursday, a fresh 6 ½ year low for prices. The latest drop was buoyed by an unexpected surplus in the latest report on U.S. oil stockpiles.
Another painful trading session in China didn’t help matters, as the Shanghai Index dropped nearly 3.5% overnight. Continued worries over currency valuation have spread to other Asian nations, including Kazakhstan and Vietnam who both devalued their own currencies today.
Lastly, the Federal Reserve meeting minutes from July provided little clarity yesterday. The Fed indicated that conditions were “approaching” the desired level for an interest rate hike, but stopped short of further clarification. Analysts now consider the chances of a rate hike in September to be somewhere between 40%-50%—in other words, it’s anyone’s guess.
Here are the final numbers from Thursday on Wall Street:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 16,990.69 (-358.04)
NASDAQ: 4,877.49 (-141.56)
S&P 500: 2,035.73 (-43.88)