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US stocks fall in volatile session as investors assess the prospect of war in Ukraine

Brendan McDermid/Reuters

  • The S&P 500 fell for a third straight session as investors assess the risk of war between Russian and Ukraine. 
  • Ukraine’s president reportedly walked back comments that at an invasion would take place Wednesday. 
  • Oil prices approached $100 a barrel for the first time since 2014.

US stocks ended lower Monday, with equities whipsawed by developments surrounding prospects of war between Russia and Ukraine. 

The S&P 500 fell for a third straight session, led by losses for energy stocks even as oil prices during the day surged to $95 a barrel for the first time since 2014, but the index managed to finish off session lows. 

Stocks have been hurt recently by fears among investors that Russia is set to invade Ukraine as it seeks to keep the former Soviet republic from joining NATO. Monday’s session was marked by shifting signals about an imminent invasion into Ukraine by Russia. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reportedly walked back comments that he had heard Russia was set to invade his country on Wednesday. Early Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to agree with  Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s call for Moscow to continue diplomatic talks with the West.

Here’s where US indexes stood at 4:00 p.m. on Monday:   

  • S&P 500: 4,401.55, down 0.39% 
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: 34,565.78, down 0.5% (172.28 points)
  • Nasdaq Composite: 13,790.92, down 0.001%

Stocks had indicated potential gains before the opening bell following news of Lavrov’s comments but they slipped back after St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard told CNBC the Fed needs to move quickly in raising interest rates to tame hot inflation. 

“I do think we need to front-load more of our planned removal of accommodation than we would have previously. We’ve been surprised to the upside on inflation. This is a lot of inflation,” Bullard said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” program. 

Around the markets, Peloton stock dropped after the high-end exercise equipment maker’s new chief executive dismissed the notion the company would be sold.

Crypto exchange Coinbase said its services were running again after it was forced to throttle traffic to its website thanks to a viral Super Bowl ad spot on Sunday.

Billionaire investor George Soros slashed positions in Big Tech stocks at the end of the last quarter and disclosed a big $2 billion stake in automaker Rivian. 

Oil prices were mixed. West Texas Intermediate crude jumped 1.9% to $94.91 per barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, slipped 0.6% at $95.95.

Gold gained 1.7% to $1,873.70 per ounce. The 10-year yield rose 4 basis points to 1.986%. 

Bitcoin rose 0.1% to $42,255.05. 

 

 

 

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