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There's no question the markets are volatile right now, and one big reason is oil.
Regional managing director for Wells Capital Management Sterling Jenson says while Wall Street itself has lost about 40 percent of its value in the year since a record high was reached in September 2007, the oil companies are looking at 60 to 70 percent losses. Twenty percent of that happened in the last 15 days.
"If you look at Chevron, or you look at Arco, or you look at Exxon, you look at any of the major energy suppliers, their stocks are down 60, 70 percent," Jenson said. That's reflected in the price of oil, which is selling at less than $70 a barrel today for the first time since August 2007.
And alternative fuels aren't helping. "In conjunction with that, the solar stocks have absolutely collapsed, because looking at them as an alternative fuel source has really died down in the imagination of the investors," Jenson said.
Wall Street has finished only one day on a positive note since the beginning of October, and one reason could very well be energy.