By Tom Huddleston Jr.
January 6, 2015

The stock sell-off that kicked off the week has carried over into Tuesday.

Global stocks are under continued pressure due to increasingly low oil prices, which continue to drag down energy share prices in the energy sector, as well as concerns over economic and political turmoil in Europe. A tight presidential election in Greece has heightened concerns that the country could leave the Eurozone, and has pushed the euro to near nine-year lows.

Markets were down broadly in Asia and Europe earlier in the day, leading to yet another day of declines in the U.S., where the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 130 points at the close, or .7%, to 17,307 . The blue-chip index plummeted 331 points on Monday and has dropped over 4% since a posting a string of record closes at the end of 2014, shortly after crossing the 18,000-point mark for the first time ever.

Meanwhile, the broader S&P 500 tumbled for the fifth straight day, the longest such streak for the benchmark index in over a year. The S&P 500 fell 18 points, or 0.9%, and dropped to just above 2,000. The Nasdaq composite dropped 60 points, or about 1.3%, to close at 4,593.

The sell-off sent the yield for a 10-year U.S. Treasury bond below 2% for the first time since October. Meanwhile, the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index (VIX), known as the “fear index,” jumped more than 10% Tuesday afternoon.

Spurring the early-2015 sell-off has been the continued decline of oil prices as a result of global oversupply. On Tuesday, the glut sent prices for crude oil down for the fourth straight day, one day after they fell below $50 per barrel for the first time in 5 and 1/2 years. The price of U.S. crude oil settled at $47.93 per barrel Tuesday — the lowest level since April 2009.

Crude oil prices have dropped more than 55% since last summer and energy industry stocks have suffered as a result. On Tuesday, both Exxon Mobil (XOM) and oil-field services company Halliburton (HAL) were down around 1.3%.

Other stocks suffering on Tuesday afternoon included American Express (AXP) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM), which were down more than 2% each.

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