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S&P 500 Under Pressure as Russia-Ukraine Tensions Intensify

Published 02/11/2022, 01:49 PM
Updated 02/11/2022, 03:41 PM
© Reuters

By Yasin Ebrahim - – The S&P 500 was under pressure Friday, as reports that Russia was in position to launch a full scale invasion of Ukraine at any time triggered risk-off across markets.

The S&P 500 fell 2.2%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.5%, or 526 points, the Nasdaq fell 3.1%.

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters on Friday that the U.S. is not claiming that Putin has made a final decision to invade Ukraine, casting doubt on an earlier report by PBS that suggested the Russian president had made his decision to invade.

"We are not saying that a decision has been taken a final decision has been taken by President Putin ... what we are saying is that we have a sufficient level of concern based on what we are seeing on the ground [at the Ukraine border]," Sullivan said.

The national security advisor, however, emphasized the elevated threat of a Ukraine invasion that could begin "any day now," as Russia had all the forces at the border that it needs to conduct a major military action.

An earlier report from PBS suggested that the Russian president had instructed his military to move ahead with the Ukraine invasion, with two administration officials reportedly saying an invasion was expected to begin next week.

The report of a decision from Putin arrived just after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Russia had beefed up its forces at the border with Ukraine and could launch an invasion at any time.

Investors opted for safety, piling into U.S. bonds pushing yields lower, with the U.S. 10-year yield retreating below 2%.

Defense stocks, meanwhile, including Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), and Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) were higher.

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