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Stocks slide as oil sinks; World Economic Forum kicks off; CEO confidence hit by global fears

Wall Street is heading south once again after a small relief rally yesterday. Stocks  (^DJI^GSPC^IXIC) are sharply lower across the board with all three major indexes deep in the red, as crude prices (CLG16.NYM) drop below $28 a barrel touching fresh 12-year lows. This followed more selling in Europe and Asia, with Japan’s Nikkei stock market (^N225) joining the list of those now in bear territory—down 20% from recent highs.

World Economic Forum

Politicians, business leaders, and academics gather in Davos, Switzerland, for the 46th annual World Economic Forum.  

Yahoo Finance editor-in-chief, Andy Serwer, talked to PwC's U.S. chairman Bob Moritz in the video above about how the drop in crude oil prices and geopolitical uncertainty took a toll on CEO confidence.

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IBM (IBM) reported a slight beat on both its top and bottom lines for the fourth quarter thanks to growth in its cloud computing and analytics business. However, revenue fell 8.5% from a year earlier, as a strong dollar and soft IT spending weighed on results. Big Blue also issued disappointing earnings outlook for the year.  

Netflix (NFLX) got a nice pop in early trading. The video-streaming provider is reporting better-than-expected fourth-quarter profits, as its expansion overseas helped boost subscriber growth to nearly 75 million worldwide.

Apple's India expansion

Apple (AAPL) is looking to expand overseas. Apple is asking the Indian government for permission to open retail outlets and sell online there. Currently the company uses third-party resellers in that country.

Goldman Sachs (GS) posted a huge hit to its bottom line from the recent $5 billion settlement with the government over its sale of risky mortgages ahead of the financial crisis. Goldman says those costs knocked $3.41 a share off fourth-quarter profit. However, revenue for the period came in above estimates. 

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-A) warned that fourth-quarter profit could drop by at least 40% from a year ago amid a collapse in crude prices. Shell will also slash 10,000 jobs as a result and cut spending by billions of dollars.