U.S. stocks fell, with declines accelerating in the final hour after crude oil extended its selloff, as equities lost momentum following their first weekly advance this year.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index declined 1.6 percent to 1,877.34 at 4 p.m. in New York, erasing three-quarters of a rally Friday that saw the gauge cap the best back-to-back gains in three months. Energy shares in the benchmark fell the most since August.

Equities are on track for their worst January since 2009 amid worries that China’s slowdown will weigh on global growth, with plunging oil prices exacerbating those concerns. The S&P 500 sank to a 21-month low last week, and it’s down 8.2 percent this month.

Stocks rose last week, with energy shares helped by a rebound in crude, on bets central banks around the world will act to support the global economy, even as the Federal Reserve tightens policy. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said today the ECB must fulfill its inflation mandate in order to maintain its credibility. With slumping oil costs weighing on consumer prices that are already close to stagnating, Draghi is trying to convince investors that the central bank remains willing to act if needed.

 

Source : Bloomberg