Updated at 10:20 a.m.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Chinese are calling it "Black Monday," and investors all over the world are likely to agree.

U.S. stocks opened with huge losses Monday as the selloff that began last week continued to hammer Asian and European markets and then circled back to the U.S. 

At the open, the S&P 500 was off over 4%, while the Nasdaq and Dow Jones Industrial Average had even bigger declines. But then all three major averages rebounded off their lows by mid-morning.

Earlier in Asia, The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 8.5% in China, erasing their gains for the year. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index sank 5.8%. In Tokyo, Japan's Nikkei 225 Index closed down 4.6%.

European stocks also were tumbling. Stocks in London fell 2.9%, markets in Frankfurt were down almost 3% while equities in Paris tanked 2.7%.

Oil fell 3.5% on Monday to a six-and-a half-year low. West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 4% to $38.86 a barrel. Prices had fallen below $40 per barrel for the first time since 2009 on Friday.

Last week's selloff in the U.S. pushed most of the major averages down at least 10% from their recent highs, putting them into correction territory. The market's main gauge, the S&P 500, is down 7.5% since its May high.

TheStreet's Jim Cramer said in RealMoney columns published Friday and Sunday that the bigger-than-expected selloff was due to heightened fears about the Federal Reserve raising interest rates.

"I blame this selloff on James Bullard, the St. Louis Federal Reserve (CEO) who, amazingly, said in an interview (Friday): 'I know there are a lot of worries about global growth, a lot of it coming from China, I would probably be more sanguine than the market in that dimension,' " Cramer said in Friday's commentary. 

He went further in Sunday's column: "If you look at the intraday chart on Friday you can see where the market was trying to rally and then Bullard came out with his incredibly insensitive comments.... It's obvious to even the most obtuse of observers that these silly comments would cause a huge selloff." 

Still, Cramer said he was a buyer at Friday's close.

"With interest rates low, commodity inflation nil and the dollar weaker than I thought, I had no choice but to put something to work," he wrote in one of his Real Money columns Friday. "I will be back buying if the market drops another 2% next week."

There were a lot of reasons why stocks are selling off, ranging from worries about China's slowing economy to concern that the Federal Reserve might start raising interest rates soon and plunge the global economy into another recession.

"Quite frankly, I think that (putting most of the blame on China) is just an excuse," said Keith Savard, a global economics expert and fellow at the Milken Institute, in an interview Friday. "Obviously there hasn't been a 10% correction in U.S. stocks in several years. People need to start looking more closely at fundamentals in this market."

 Other market observers said that downside volatility has been long overdue.

"No one has any idea what will happen next," James Hickman, chief investment officer for HVM Capital,  wrote in an article for TheStreet. His advice for investors? Take the long view.

Many big-name stocks are already in correction territory, including Apple (AAPL) , General Electric (GE) , Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) and Exxon Mobil (XOM) . Click here to read article.

Some experts predict the S&P 500 could be due for a huge drop not seen since the 1960s. Another market observer thinks the devaluation of the yuan could be good news for gold bulls.

Psychologically wounded investors may want to consider these three charts that will help them know when it's time to buy stocks again.

 

 

 

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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