Stocks tank as oil falls below zero for first time ever

U.S. equity markets tumbled on Monday as oil saw a historic hammering with prices turning negative for the first time in history.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell over 592 points or 2.3 percent. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were down 1.79 percent and 1.03 percent, respectively.

Ongoing concerns over swelling oil inventories, with little demand to ease the pile up due to the ongoing fallout from the coronavirus, sent West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery plunging 305 percent to a record low -$36.73 per barrel. At a price below zero, buyers would be paid to take delivery as there are costs associated with transportation and storage.

Early indicators show oil may slide deeper into negative territory.

The plunge in crude prices pressured oil majors Exxon Mobil and Chevron, which were the biggest decliners among Dow components.

Elsewhere in the space, oil services provider Halliburton lost $1.02 billion in the first quarter and said it would cut costs by $1 billion as the crash in oil prices has decimated investment. Those shares bucked the downtrend inching higher.

Explorers Continental Resources and EOG Resources were among the other energy names in focus.

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