Crude oil at a seven-year low along with a forecast from the International Energy Agency that sees an oil glut getting worse in 2016 sent jitters across the market, which dragged down energy stocks — and then spread to other sectors, including discretionary consumer products and the retail segment.
The result was a decline in major indices not seen since August when concerns over China caused a massive selloff. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 309 points, or 1.8 percent, to 17,265 while the S&P 500 dropped 1.9 percent to close at 2,012. For the week, the Dow lost 3.2 percent while the S&P declined 3.4 percent.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group index shed 2.2 percent for the day, to 1,265, and 3.4 percent for the week. Macy’s Inc. fell 2 percent to close at $36.76 while Kohl’s Corp. lost 4 percent to finish at $46.24. Other notable decliners included Vince Holding Corp., which fell 19 percent to finish at $4.59. Destination XL Group Inc. closed down 4.1 percent to $4.87 while Avon Products Inc. dropped 6.5 percent to finish at $4.
The declines brought the Dow and S&P 500 to levels not seen since August. Analysts cited low oil prices with the Middle East oil producers continuing to flood the market with cheap oil. The declines were also driven by bearish views that an expected Federal Reserve hike would challenge U.S. companies who do business in emerging markets.
The WWD Global Stock Tracker also finished the day down. For the month, the WWD tracker is off 2.4 percent with 73 stocks declining and 27 advancing. Profit taking across the fashion apparel, beauty and luxury segments drove down issues while concerns over the holiday shopping season chased investors away.
Some of the steepest decliners for the month include Fossil Group Inc., which is down 27 percent, to $36.98 and the Bon-Ton Stores Inc., which is down 28 percent to $1.90. The Men’s Wearhouse Inc. is off 29 percent for the month, trading at $14.81.