Equities faced relentless selling pressure in Friday's session amid ongoing worries about falling oil prices and weakness in China. Jeanne Yurman reports.
After a brief rebound Thursday, already battered U.S. stocks took yet another beating Friday, joining in a global sell-off. All ten S&P sectors were down at midday, led by the already badly bruised energy sector. The Dow plunging more than 500 points, moving well below 16,000, while the yield on ten-year Treasuries traded below two percent. Swimming in the red, big names ranging from Disney to Caterpillar, Microsoft and Apple. The selling pressure has been relentless since the start of the year due to fears of weakness in China, the world's number two economy, and its sinking currency. And oil prices in virtual free fall. Sam Stovall, S&P Capital IQ: SOUNDBITE: SAM STOVALL, MANAGING DIRECTOR, U.S. EQUITY STRATEGY, S&P CAPITAL I.Q. (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Right now, I would characterize the market as vulnerable, vulnerable to a bear market because uncertainty surrounding the possibility that the U.S. and the rest of the world will be falling once again into recession." Crude crossed a psychologically key level below $30 a barrel, marking a twenty percent loss so far in 2016. The commodity getting squeezed as investors worry that Iran, with sanctions lifted, will add to global oversupply. And at the same time, concerns about demand falling with China's health growing more uncertain. The mass exodus from stocks Friday was ignited after China's Shanghai Composite Index fell into a bear market.