U.S. stocks are plunging and oil prices are surging on fears over the continued violent unrest in Libya.
Oil prices are up 6.21 percent to more than $95 per barrel, with the head of the International Energy Agency warning on CNBC that $100 oil could derail the global economic recovery.
Libya is the world’s 18th biggest oil producer and a member of OPEC.
As of 1:00 p.m. (New York time) the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 160.22 points, or 1.29 percent; the Nasdaq is down 67.91 points, or 2.40 percent and the S&P 500 has dropped 24.47 points or 1.82 percent.
Oil company stocks are among today’s big gainers, Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX), is up 2.01 percent, while Petrobras (NYSE: PBR) is up 1.87 percent.
Airline stocks are in sharp decline, owing to the prospects of higher fuel prices. Delta Air (NYSE: DAL) is down 7.57 percent; while AMR Corp. (NYSE: AMR), the parent of American Airlines, has slid 6.85 percent.
Moammar Gaddafi has vowed to remain in power in Libya, despite massive protests against him and intensifying violence.
Bonds are higher as the 10-year Treasury yield has slipped to 3.47 percent.