U.S. stocks closed sharply lower on Wednesday, furthering the week’s losses, as the price of crude fell to a new five-year low and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries cut its demand outlook for next year.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average had its worst day since October 9. The index fell more than 280 points before recovering some of those losses to trade about 270 points lower. The Energy sector led declines on the S&P 500, with a fall of more than 3 percent in the hour before the close.
“OPEC saying 2015 is lower now gave oil a big chill. People are asking why is demand down, well economic activity is probably down too, so everybody is a little more cautious,” said Kim Forrest, senior equity analyst at Fort Pitt Capital.