U.S. Stocks Pull Back Sharply Amid Worries About Russia-Ukraine Conflict


Stocks have moved sharply lower in morning trading on Monday, giving back ground following the substantial rebound seen over the two previous sessions. The major averages have all moved to the downside, although the tech-heavy Nasdaq is showing a modest slump than its counterparts.

In recent trading, the Dow and the S&P 500 have fallen to new lows for the session. The Dow is down 463.88 points or 1.4 percent at 33,594.87, the Nasdaq is down 81.83 points or 0.6 percent at 13,612.79 and the S&P 500 is down 48.38 points or 1.1 percent at 4,336.27.

Geopolitical concerns have contributed to the notable pullback on Wall Street amid the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Ukrainians continue to hold out against the Russian assault, while news that Russian President Vladimir Putin has put his nuclear forces on high alert has led to worries about an escalation of the war.

Russian and Ukrainian officials are meeting on the Belarusian-Ukrainian border to discuss a possible ceasefire, although optimism the talks will lead to peace is low.

The West continues to ramp up sanctions against Russia in response to the invasion, leading to worries about the impact on the global economy.

On the U.S. economic front, MNI Indicators released a report showing a significant slowdown in the pace of growth in Chicago-area business activity in the month of February.

The report showed the Chicago business barometer tumbled to 56.3 in February from 65.2 in January. While a reading above 50 still indicates growth, economists had expected the barometer to show a much more modest drop to 63.0.

Airline stocks have moved sharply lower in morning trading, resulting in a 3.4 percent nosedive by the NYSE Arca Airline Index.

Significant weakness is also visible among chemical stocks, as reflected by the 2.1 percent slump by the S&P Chemical Sector Index.

Banking stocks are also seeing considerable weakness amid a steep drop by treasury yields, with the KBW Bank Index tumbled by 2.1 percent.

Commercial real estate, pharmaceutical and brokerage stocks have also moved notably lower, while some strength is visible among natural gas stocks.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index edged up by 0.2 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose by 0.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have shown substantial moves to the downside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has plunged by 2.5 percent, the German DAX Index is down by 2.1 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is down by 1.5 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have moved sharply higher amid concerns about the Russia-Ukraine conflict. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 12 basis points at 1.866 percent.

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