The sell off across the U.S. markets began at the opening bell as investors reacted to weakness in the European markets. The S&P 500 index gave back one percent to close at nearly 1399 while most European markets closed more than 2 percent lower than Tuesday.

Crude prices suffered greater losses than broader U.S. equity market. Specifically, WTI finished the day $2.54 lower Wednesday to settle at $101.47 per barrel. More talk of a possible SPR release and softer than anticipated ISM service data (especially order backlog) added to investor worries as the day progressed. Brent crude settled $2.52 cents lower at $122.34 per barrel for the May futures contract.

Neither gasoline nor natural gas prices were spared on Wednesay. May reformulated gasoline blendstock lost 6 cents to $3.336 per gallon. Natural gas fell nearly 5 cents on the day to settle at $2.141 per MMBtu on the May contract.