U.S. stocks open sharply lower amid oil crash



U.S. equities opened sharply lower on Tuesday amid steep sell-off in oil prices.

Shortly after the opening, the Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 527.59 points, or 2.23 percent, to 23,122.85. The SP 500 was down 49.52 points, or 1.75 percent, to 2,773.64. The Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 103.61 points, or 1.21 percent, to 8,457.11.

All the 11 primary SP 500 sectors traded lower, with energy down about 3.9 percent a few minutes after opening, the worst-performing group.

Oil futures suffered further pain on Tuesday, following a historic drop in the previous session.

The soon-to-expire May contract for U.S. oil futures plunged to deeply below zero on Monday and remained in the negative territory on Tuesday. The negative price territory implies the holder of a long position would be required to pay someone to take that contract off of their hands. The most-active June contract for the U.S. benchmark tumbled about 29 percent on Tuesday.

Wall Street paid close attention to the bizarre movement in oil futures as investors grew concerned that deep losses for the energy industry would hit the U.S. economy even further, experts noted.