Drops in US stocks have sent the S&P 500 into negative territory for the year, while the Dow dived over 400 points.
At the time of writing the Dow had recovered from its 15,855 low to 15,595, still 2.02 per cent lower than at the open.
The S&P 500 was down 2.1 per cent at pixel time.
The news followed a bout of negative closes across Europe: the FTSE 100 closed down 2.8 per cent, Germany's Dax ended 2.9 per cent lower and France's CAC ended the day 3.6 per cent down.
The stop market declines were mirrored by bond yields. The US 10-year bond yield fell below two per cent for the first time since 2013.
Despite the unemployment rate sitting at 5.9 per cent, the US economy is still showing signs of weakness. Retail sales fell 0.3 per cent in September, while crude continued its slump, falling below $81 a barrel today.
In a recent report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reduced its 2014 forecast for global oil demand by 200,000 barrels a day.
The report also says that Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) September output surged to its highest level in 13 months, rising by 415,000 barrels a day.
Oil is an important indicator of the state of the world economy and weakness in demand will further stoke fears that the global recovery is not as robust as hoped.