These issues explain today's markets selloff

The issues dogging the market are essentially the same as a couple days ago: It's the collision between a slowdown in global growth (ex-U.S.) and the Fed debate on when it should raise interest rates.

Specifically, the market is dealing with:

1) There's poor German trade data. German exports dropped 5.8 percent in August, the largest decline since the financial crisis 5.5 years ago.

Trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Getty Images
Trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

2) Draghi: No recovery without economic reform. ECB Chief Mario Draghi spoke at the Brookings Institute, and headlines out about 11:40 a.m. ET indicate he again reiterated that without healthy banks and economic reforms, quantitative easing (QE) would not be effective.

3) Ebola issues. With general concerns about the effectiveness of campaigns to control the spread of the diseases.

Headlines like these are being widely passed around on trading desks today: "Airlines clean-up crews walk off job in New York over Ebola concerns" and "Southern command keeps watch on Ebola."

4) Oil dropping. This is hitting the energy complex especially hard. We are seeing the collision between an increase in supply (the U.S. is now the largest oil producer in the world) and lower global demand. Many of the shale plays are very expensive at $80 oil and $3.50 gas.

You can see these concerns in ETF volume. ETFs with the heaviest volume today include Vanguard Europe (VGK), Energy Select (XLE), Materials (XLB), and Russell 2000 Growth (IWO).

Also of note is a renewed decline in high-yield bonds: The largest high-yield bond ETF, iShares High Yield (HYG), is down 0.8 percent.

Many stocks in the energy sector, like shale stocks and coal stocks, have issued a significant amount of high-yield paper. Shale companies, because of high well depletion rates, are in constant need to keep drilling, some of which is financed using high-yield paper.

Many shale plays have had huge declines. Penn Virginia (PVA) and Comstock (CRK), to name just two, are down over 20% this month.

Drillers have dropped dramatically as well, because many of these companies will dramatically reduce their capital expenditures (drilling) if oil stays down near the $80 range.

  • Bob Pisani

    A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Wall Street