NEW YORK - World equity markets and oil prices tumbled on Tuesday as worries over economic growth prospects prompted investors to retreat to safe-haven currencies and U.S. Treasuries.
U.S. stocks continued their slide as shares of consumer discretionary companies plunged after several retailers, including Target Corp and Kohl's Corp, gave underwhelming quarterly results and earnings forecasts.
Shares of Apple Inc, which have tumbled nearly 20 percent from their record high, also extended their decline after Goldman Sachs trimmed its price target for the stock for the second time in just over a week.
"Despite what has been a pretty good earnings season, people are looking ahead to next year and are worried about a slowdown," said Mark Kepner, equity trader at Themis Trading in Chatham, New Jersey.
"Until recently, we've been the standout," Kepner said, referring to U.S. equity markets. "So the question becomes, 'When do those come together? Does the rest of the world catch up with us, or do we look like the rest of the world?'"
Oil prices slid as much as 7 percent to mirror the stock sell-off as fears about slowing global demand and a surge in U.S. production outweighed expected supply cuts by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Oil extended its losses after U.S. President Donald Trump said the United States intends to remain a "steadfast partner" of Saudi Arabia even though "it could very well be" that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had knowledge of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Heightened tensions between the two countries had raised concerns about the possibility of supply disruptions.
U.S. crude futures settled down $3.77 at $53.43 a barrel, a 6.59 percent drop. Brent crude futures settled $4.26 lower at $62.53 a barrel, a 6.38 percent decline.
With Tuesday's losses, U.S. crude prices have fallen more than 30 percent from a near four-year peak in early October. Brent crude prices have dropped some 28 percent in the same period.
Meanwhile, the dollar index, tracking the U.S. unit against a basket of six major currencies, rose 0.7 percent as the greenback recovered after having been weighed by weak U.S. housing data. Other safe-haven currencies such as the yen and Swiss franc also gained.
Keeping with the flight to safe-haven assets, the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield also touched a seven-week low, though it later rose above that level.
The euro, by contrast, was down 0.76 percent to $1.1364, mirroring a sell-off in European stocks.
The pan-European 600 ended 1.1 percent lower as shares of technology companies lagged. Shares of automakers extended their decline following the arrest of Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co Ltd chairman Carlos Ghosn for alleged financial misconduct.
MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 1.82 percent.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 586.61 points, or 2.34 percent, to 24,430.83, the S&P 500 lost 52.17 points, or 1.94 percent, to 2,638.56 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 136.53 points, or 1.94 percent, to 6,891.95.
Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 3/32 in price to yield 3.0482 percent, from 3.059 percent late on Monday.