U.S. stocks traded sharply lower Wednesday as further decline in oil prices pressured global equities.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 450 points with IBM contributing the most to declines. The Nasdaq composite briefly traded more than 3 percent lower.

The S&P 500 fell more than 2.5 percent to trade around 1,825, near its lowest since October 2014.

WTI dipped below $27 a barrel to hit its lowest level since September 2003. Traders said contract expiration around the 2:30 p.m. ET settle would likely contribute to volatility in oil markets.

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