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Dow drops 631 points as U.S. stocks fall after historic oil sell-off

Dow drops 631 points as U.S. stocks fall after historic oil sell-off
A sign for Wall Street hangs outside at the New York Stock Exchange in New York City on Monday. A historic selloff in oil prices continued to influence U.S. stocks on Tuesday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

April 21 (UPI) -- U.S. stocks closed with losses for a second consecutive day Tuesday as oil prices continued to drop.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 631.56 points, or 2.67 percent, while the S&P 500 dropped 3.07 percent and the Nasdaq Composite slid 3.48 percent

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The losses follow a historic decline of oil prices on Monday.

West Texas Intermediate's contract for May delivery -- which traded below $0 on Monday for the first time in history -- rebounded slightly Tuesday but was trading at less than $5. For June delivery, which experts view as a better indicator of how Wall Street views oil prices, WTI fell 43.4 percent to $11.57 per barrel Tuesday.

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Brent crude dropped below $20 per barrel on Tuesday, at one point settling at about $18 per barrel, its lowest price since late 2001.

The United States Oil Fund fell 25.07 percent on Tuesday, while Marathon Petroleum fell 4.55 percent and Conoco Phillips dropped 3.99 percent to drag down the S&P's energy sector.

Dramatic cutbacks in demand, driven by the coronavirus and a weekslong dispute between Russia and OPEC nations, have propelled the historic oil sell-off. OPEC and Russia eventually agreed to cut production by 10 million barrels per day in May.

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President Donald Trump on Tuesday tweeted that he has instructed the Treasury and Energy secretaries to develop a plan to "make funds available so that these very important companies and jobs will be secured long into the future."

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