Last week, $100 oil was the talk of Wall Street. This week, a broad market sell-off has made that chatter seem like distant noise.
Brent crude oil, which last week rocketed above $86 a barrel for the first time in nearly four years, now sits at a three-week low just above $80. The international benchmark lost nearly $5 a barrel, or 5.6 percent, in the two days that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed more than 1,300 points.
U.S. oil did not fare much better. Over the two days, West Texas Intermediate crude is down $4 a barrel, or 5.3 percent, to $70.97, also a three-week low. Last week, it nearly hit $77 a barrel, posting its best level since November 2014.
Both benchmarks slipped from those highs immediately, before clawing back some gains on Tuesday. But the fear factor in the market after heavy selling on Wednesday and Thursday has many investors getting rid of risk-oriented assets like oil, said Tamar Essner, director of energy and utilities at Nasdaq Corporate Solutions.
"There was a fare amount of bullish momentum and potentially froth in the oil market, so I think there was room to come down," she said. "If you think about it from a market technicals perspective, pullbacks are often around 5 percent."