The Japanese stock market tumbled last night as the Nikkei 225 Index closed lower by more than 10.5 percent to 8605.15. Reports out of Japan have stated that nuclear plants are continuing to leak radiation over various parts of the country. Evacuations are taking place around the country at this time. The Japanese stock market has lost over $700 billion in market value in the past three days. The highly followed Shanghai Index(China ended lower by 1.41 percent closing at 2896.26. The Hang Seng Index(Hong Kong) ended lower by 2.86 percent to 22,678.25.
The S&P 500 e-mini futures are trading lower by 32.50 points this morning to 1258.25. The decline lower is certainly all about Japan as the Japanese economy is the third largest economy in the world. Important technical support levels have been broken this morning on all the major stock indexes and this can be seen by the sharp decline that is taking place ahead of the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.
Oil, gold, silver, copper, and most every other commodity is declining this morning. Oil has retreated sharply from hits 52 week high made last week at $106.95 a barrel. Oil is trading at $97.90 a barrel this morning. Libya, and various other nations in the Middle East and North Africa remain in turmoil. Should fighting escalate and an oil field become interrupted this could cause a send oil prices higher again. The United States Oil Fund(NYSE:USO) is trading lower this morning by $1.56 to $39.35 a share.
The U.S. Dollar Index is actually trading sharply higher this morning by 0.57 cents to $76.90 a share. Yesterday, the U.S. Dollar Index Index declined sharply and traded near its five month low. Generally, when the U.S. Dollar Index strengthens commodity prices will pull back.