NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks resumed their selloff on Monday, squashed again by the free fall in oil prices.
"The main problem is that oil has not yet found a level where it can stabilize," said Wells Fargo chief international strategist Paul Christopher in a call.
West Texas Intermediate plummeted more than 4% to $55.20, its lowest point since May 2009, after secretary general of OPEC, Abdallah Salem el-Badri, said the oil cartel had not set a fixed oil-price target. Separately, United Arab Emirates oil minister Suhail Al-Mazrouei said the group would stick to production levels even if oil falls to $40 a barrel.
"If [OPEC members] were to change the tone of their remarks or if they were to stabilize the discounts on their own prices to Asian, African and Middle Eastern customers that might be taken as a positive" said Christopher as to a potential stabilizing factor.
The S&P 500 moved off session lows, though closed down 0.64%. The benchmark index traded below the 2,000 level for the first time since Oct. 30 after suffering its worst week in more than two years last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.6%, and the Nasdaq was down 1.04%.
Energy was again one of the worst-performing sectors of the S&P 500 with the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) sliding 0.92%. Over the past six months, the industry ETF has tanked more than 25% as the price of oil cratered 48% from its own mid-summer peak.