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Stocks drop as U.S. crude oil futures prices turn negative for the first time in history

Western Canadian Select oil price dips below zero, WTI also dropping on Monday
Everyone is watching the price of oil this week after the prices plummeted over the weekend, when Western Canadian Select briefly dropping into the negative range. As Tom Vernon explains, West Texas Intermediate was also approaching negative territory on Monday.

Wall Street fell sharply on Monday after U.S. crude oil futures turned negative for the first time in history, underscoring the chaos the coronavirus pandemic has unleashed on the global economy.

The S&P energy index tumbled 2.8% after the front-month May U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) contract turned negative – unprecedented in history – with sellers offering buyers $37.63 a barrel.

READ MORE: U.S. oil prices tumble to 20-year low, threatening stock rally

With much of the global economy suspended due to the coronavirus, physical demand for crude has dried up, creating a global supply glut as billions of people stay home.

Oil down is normally good for the rest of the sectors, but you can make the argument that it is so low that it’s not good for anybody in terms of what it’s going to do to unemployment and economic growth,” said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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READ MORE: How does Western Canadian Select oil pricing work?

At 2:26 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.79% at 23,807.69 points, while the S&P 500 lost 1.27% to 2,838.15.