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Stocks trend lower, oil markets set for first quarterly loss in two years

Yahoo Finance Live anchor Rachelle Akuffo looks at market movements an hour ahead of today's closing bell, in addition to the sector action and crude oil prices.

Video Transcript

- Let's get right to the market action an hour before the close to see how the major indices are faring at the moment. As you can see, all three in negative territory. We see the Dow there down by about a 1/3 of a percent. The S&P down by about 1%. Still off its session lows. And the NASDAQ there down the most, about 1.2%. Now, obviously, boosted earlier by August retail sales data, which beat expectations of 0.3%. Still sluggish. But it did show that consumers are still willing to spend amid high inflation.

And then, of course, new unemployment benefit claims also fell to their lowest level in more than three years. But that optimism tested markets this afternoon. Investors still bracing for more rate hikes, of course, at the upcoming Fed meeting. Now let's shift gears here and go to the interactive to really take a look at some of the sector action that we're seeing.

We're seeing that health care is leading the way at the moment along with financials. And there dragging it down at the bottom you have utilities. And, of course, energy there down about 2.7% on the day. So I want to take a look at what we're seeing with oil as we get you up to speed with oil, as we're speaking of those commodities there. As we see, WTI there falling more than 4% there, trying to bounce off those session lows, but still in tough territory. And when it comes to Brent, same situation there. Off almost 4% as well.

Now, we're seeing that that's after the US Energy Department quashed rumors from earlier this week about potentially refilling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve when oil prices fall below $80. Now, the Energy Department says there is no trigger price to restock those emergency reserves. And they quote, "anticipate replenishment would not occur until well into the future, likely after fiscal year 2023." But still, a volatile week indeed for oil, as you can see, so far.