Market Snapshot: What plunging oil prices may be telling us about the stock market and global economy

What the heck happened to oil prices? But more significantly, what does it mean for the broader stock market and the global economy?

That is what has some Wall Street investors scratching their noggins, as crude futures and U.S. stocks staged a tandem tumble this week, just when investors thought the worst was over following a bruising October for risk assets.

Now, oil futures are unraveling, down at least 20% after putting in a 52-week high early last month. And it isn’t so much the descent into bear-market territory—as the recent slump for crude can be characterized—as it is the celerity of the selloff that has market participants unsettled.

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