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The S&P 500 ends down as Russia-Ukraine tensions heat up

Published Feb 14, 2022 05:45AM ET Updated Feb 14, 2022 06:52PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man walks along Wall Street in New York September 18, 2008. REUTERS/Eric Thayer/File Photo 2/2
 
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By Stephen Culp

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The S&P 500 index closed modestly lower on Monday, largely recovering from a sharp sell-off, as U.S. plans to close its Kyiv embassy in Ukraine sent simmering geopolitical tensions to a boil.

All three major U.S. stock indexes dropped sharply after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the relocation of U.S. diplomatic operations to western Ukraine, in a possible sign of an imminent Russian invasion.

Adding to uncertainty, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Wednesday would be the day of the attack. Ukrainian officials later said Zelenskiy was not predicting an attack on that day but responding with skepticism to foreign media reports.

By the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average joined the S&P 500 in negative territory, while the Nasdaq Composite Index ended essentially unchanged.

Ongoing concerns over aggressive policy from the Federal Reserve also have contributed to recent market volatility.

"There's a lot of cross currents, a lot of potential negatives in the markets," said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago.

France's foreign minister said everything was in place for a Russian attack and that Europe was ready to impose massive sanctions if it happened.

Geopolitical anxieties have been simmering in recent weeks as negotiators scrambled to find a diplomatic path forward as Russia amassed troops along the Ukrainian border.

Still, market fallout due to geopolitical turmoil tends to be fleeting, according to historical data.

"History actually tells investors that military and terrorist strikes tend to have short-lived shocks because they do not result in global recession," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist of CFRA Research in New York.

Adding to the uncertainty were increasingly hawkish comments from St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard. He reiterated his call for a faster rake hike timeline and said the central bank's "credibility is on the line" in its battle against rising prices.

Recent data showed U.S. inflation at its hottest level in decades, ratcheting up concerns that the Fed could begin hiking key interest rates more aggressively than many had anticipated.

"The market is being felled by a combination punch, with Bullard's comments as well as increased rhetoric about the imminent invasion by Russia," Stovall added.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 171.89 points, or 0.49%, to 34,566.17; the S&P 500 lost 16.97 points, or 0.38%, at 4,401.67; and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.24 points, or 0%, to 13,790.92.

Ten of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500 closed in negative territory, with energy stocks suffering the largest percentage drop. Consumer discretionary and communications services were the only gainers.

Fourth-quarter earnings season is approaching the home stretch, with 358 of the companies in the S&P 500 having reported. Of those, 78% have beat consensus estimates, according to Refinitiv data.

Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) Corp and Walmart (NYSE:WMT) Inc are among the high profile companies posting results this week.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc advanced 1.8% after Chinese auto industry authorities announced the electric car maker sold nearly 60,000 China-made vehicles in January.

Drugmaker Biohaven shares rose 2.2% following positive topline trial results in the migraine treatment rimegepant. Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) acquired the overseas marketing rights to the drug in November.

But Pfizer dropped 1.9%, joining other COVID vaccine makers in the red.

Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) Inc tumbled 11.7% and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) dipped 1.3%. Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) Inc, which on Monday submitted an application to Switzerland's drugs regulator for approval of its COVID vaccine, dropped 11.4%.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a 2.80-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.17-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted one new 52-week high and 18 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 24 new highs and 246 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 11.32 billion shares, compared with the 12.67 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

The S&P 500 ends down as Russia-Ukraine tensions heat up
 

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Comments (21)
Shep De
Shep De Feb 15, 2022 1:33AM ET
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Just getting started, everyone thinking now 0.50% the hike, well, not, exactly, actually, it was 90% aft Bullard spoke Friday but 58% aft George, Barkin, Bullard again spoke. Not sure why didn't move to 95% because George dovish but outnumbered by Barkin & Bullard like ndx declines to sdvanceds, 2 to 1. That said, just compounding hot inflationary data pre FED meeting, hot housing #s (starts Thursday), vehicle sales will be fire again, and. Jobs will keep rising so will wages, so will wage Inflation, asset inflation--you get the "weighted" picture. So, yes, expect FED talking a 0.75-1% hike March, maybe, 1.25%
Shane Weddle
Shane Weddle Feb 14, 2022 8:30PM ET
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Wag the dog.
Marco cuevas
Marco cuevas Feb 14, 2022 7:23PM ET
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Keep selling google hedge funds....Excellent HAHAHAhahaha
Stacy Starner
Stacy Starner Feb 14, 2022 7:23PM ET
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There getting ready for the larhest infringement payout record history to netlist after 13 years
Søren Kronberg
Søren Kronberg Feb 14, 2022 1:14PM ET
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Cooler heads will prevail. Always do. Bots are trading, but they are wrong. Use your brain people, just hold on.
Samer Diab
Samer Diab Feb 14, 2022 1:14PM ET
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while others sell i dollar cost average into the dips on the main indices lol
Casador Del Oso
Casador Del Oso Feb 14, 2022 1:10PM ET
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The endless parade of B S
Kim Jungs Son
Kim Jungs Son Feb 14, 2022 1:09PM ET
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I wouldnt trust those dirty yanks
John Avenetti
John Avenetti Feb 14, 2022 12:27PM ET
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Ukraine talk is a bunch of BULL. unless the Industrial War complex of the Western world throws down a false flag and blames Russia nothing is happening. Russia isn't going to start a war against the UN. He's not a ***
Mitchel Pioneer
Mitchel Pioneer Feb 14, 2022 11:58AM ET
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Another day of criminal miracles in the laughingstock of the financial world.
Gold Digger
Gold Digger Feb 14, 2022 11:44AM ET
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The market would have already reversed up had Russia invaded from day 1
Gold Digger
Gold Digger Feb 14, 2022 11:44AM ET
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The market would have already reversed up had Russia invaded from day 1
 
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