U.S. stocks opened in sharp decline on Wednesday, continuing losses into a fourth day, as an intensifying thrashing of commodities and disappointing retail sales increased worry that the global economy is slowing.

” Although consumers are saving at the pump, it doesn’t look like they are spending it at the stores; retail sales are an unmitigated disaster,” Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities, said.

Already sharply lower, stock futures fell harder ahead of the opening bell after the Commerce Department reported retail sales slid the most in a year last month, down 0.9 percent.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) dropped in early New York trading after reporting a decline in fourth-quarter profit; Wells Fargo (WFC) also fell after the mortgage lender posted results in line with expectations.

“The good news is that the ECB (European Central Bank) got a positive ruling last night so they can move forward with quantitative easing, unfortunately the bad news is JPMorgan reported a sloppy number,” Hogan said.

The ongoing decline in the price of crude extended to metals, with the price of copper stumbling as the World Bank reduced its global growth forecast, pointing to soft expansion in Europe and China.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow Jones Global Indexes: .DJI) opened about 1 percent lower, as did the S&P 500 (^GSPC) and the Nasdaq (^IXIC).

Crude prices fell ahead of an inventory report from the Energy Information Administration at 10:30 a.m. Eastern.

On Tuesday, U.S. stocks, after a near 300-point rally on the Dow evaporated amid falling commodity prices and worries Germany would throw cold water on the European Central Bank taking additional steps to bolster the region’s economy.

“We’ve gone from day-to-day volatility to intraday volatility,” Mark Luschini, chief market strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott, said.

Read More US stocks end modestly lower after rally fizzles

Coming Up This Week:


10 a.m.: Business inventories for November

2 p.m.: Beige Book


Earnings before the bell:Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (NYSE:C)

Earnings after the bell: Intel

8:30 a.m.: Jobless claims, weekly

8:30 a.m.: Empire State survey for January

10 a.m.: Philadelphia Fed survey


Earnings before the bell: Goldman Sachs Group (GS)

8:30 a.m.: CPI for December

9:15 a.m.: Capacity utilization for December

10 a.m.: Consumer sentiment, preliminary for January

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