NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Stocks declined for a second straight session Wednesday as oil prices surged to briefly cross the $100 per barrel mark amid mounting turmoil in Libya.
The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) fell 107 points, or 0.9%, a day after the blue-chip index plunged nearly 180 points. That was the first back-to-back triple-digit drop for the blue-chip index since June.
Meanwhile, the S&P 500 (SPX) slipped 8 points, or 0.6%.
Oil prices continued to climb, jumping more than 4% to $100 a barrel for the first time since October 2008 amid talk of production disruptions. The North African country is the first oil exporting nation to be affected by the unrest sweeping across the Arab world.
While Libya only contributes about 2% of global output, analysts are worried about the violence and chaos spreading to bigger exporting neighbors.
"Investors are watching what's happening across the Middle East, and waiting to see if more dominoes will fall," said Ron Kiddoo, chief investment officer at Cozad Asset Management.
Traders are keeping a particularly close eye on oil-rich Saudi Arabia, where King Abdullah announced a series of measures worth billions of dollars Wednesday in an effort to ward off the kind of revolts that have roiled the region.
World markets: European stocks closed lower. Britain's FTSE 100 fell 1%, the DAX in Germany slid 1.6% and France's CAC 40 edged lower by 0.8%.
Asian markets ended the session mixed. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong declined 0.4% and Japan's Nikkei fell 0.8%, while the Shanghai Composite ticked up 0.2%.
Companies: Shares of CBOE Holdings (CBOE), the parent company of the Chicago Board Options Exchange, jumped almost 2% after Reuters reported that the company is "open to 'strategic transactions" such as a sale or merger with another exchange operator." CBOE declined comment.
|Overnight Avg Rate||Latest||Change||Last Week|
|30 yr fixed||3.75%||3.76%|
|15 yr fixed||2.97%||2.96%|
|30 yr refi||3.74%||3.77%|
|15 yr refi||2.98%||2.98%|
Today's featured rates:
Nike is opening up shop on Amazon.com and the company plans "big shifts" over the coming year. More
Not only do many women depend on insurance coverage for maternity care and contraception, it commonly falls to them to plan health care and coverage for the whole family. Yet as leaders in Washington discuss the future of American health care, women have not always been allowed in the room. More
Volkswagen will make the VW I.D. Buzz, an all-electric microbus, available for sale. More
In 1998, Ntsiki Biyela won a scholarship to study wine making. Now she's about to launch her own brand. More
Despite having more financial "skin in the game" than ever, many consumers don't make any attempt to compare prices for health care services, a newly released study found. More