Wall Street closes down after volatile day which saw S&P 500 reach new year lows

Madeline Ratcliffe
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Markets Go Into Freefall As Dow Plunges Over 500 Points
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The Nasdaq, Dow Jones and the S&P 500 all closed down in New York after a rollercoaster ride today.

Wall Street was heading for record losses but managed a late (sort of) rally before the close.

The S&P 500 was at its lowest in over a year, losing 21.92 points, or 1.17 per cent, to 1,859.41.

The Dow Jones staged a late rally in New York, but still finished 1.55 per cent lower, down 248.87 points to 15,767.15, having dropped more than 550 points during the day. The Nasdaq just closed down 0.12 per cent, at 4,471.69.

The S&P 500 fared worst, falling below the psychologically important 1,820 level, which traders see as a gateway to greater losses, to its lowest levels since February 2014.

At it's intraday low of 1,812.22, $2 trillion had been wiped off the index since 2016 began.

The intraday volatility was not helped by the US oil price plummeting to the lowest levels since 2003, below $27 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate futures prices dropped as low as $26.55 a barrel, down 6.7 per cent.

Brent crude closed down 2.7 per cent at $27.88 a barrel, having been as low as $27.10.

The Russell 2000, a small cap index which is in bear territory, began the recovery in New York, followed by the Nasdaq, as investors looked to tech and biotech shares.

Even GoPro, whose shares were down 10 per cent earlier, managed to close up 4.07 per cent. Twitter's share price also rose from an all-time low today, on the back of rumours of a take over. Shares closed up 4.26 per cent, at $17.39, having fallen below $16, to $15.69.