A seven percent plunge in oil prices sent stocks sliding on Wednesday. Leah Duncan reports.
The steep selloff in oil slammed stocks. The Dow down more than 560 points one point. The S&P 500 fell to its lowest level in almost two years. But stocks managed to trim losses. The Nasdaq ended the session just slightly in the red. TIAA-CREF's Susan Kempler: SOUNDBITE: SUSAN KEMPLER, PORTFOLIO MANAGER, TIAA-CREF (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I don't know if crude's holding the markets hostage. I think the problem with the markets right now is there's a lot of uncertainty out there and maybe risks that people don't know where the risks are." Shares of Goldman Sachs dropped. Its profit plunged 65 percent. It marked the investment bank's third straight quarterly drop in earnings. Big Blue's shares sank to a five-year low after IBM forecast weak earnings. They were the biggest drag on the Dow. One day after Netflix reported a huge quarterly increase in subscribers, shares of the video streaming company got shellacked amid the widespread selloff, but it too cut losses late in the day. In economic news, consumer prices unexpectedly fell last month, further lowering expectations of a Fed rate hike in March. Housing starts and building permits also fell. In Europe, the oil price slide and concerns over the global economy hammered shares, especially oil and financial stocks.