DJIA: 34,738.06, down 503.53
S&P 500: 4,418.64, down 85.44
Nasdaq: 13,791.16, down 394.48
Stocks slide amid geopolitical tensions
A sell-off in U.S. equities deepened on Friday amid escalating geopolitical tensions. Officials from both the U.S. and U.K. urged their citizens to exit Ukraine on reports of an imminent Russian invasion. Meanwhile, uncertainty surrounding the path of interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve (Fed) also continued to weigh on investor sentiment. The Dow fell 503 points, capping a 1% weekly decline. The S&P 500 slumped 1.9% while the Nasdaq Composite retreated 2.8%. Both benchmarks turned negative for the week, sliding 1.8% and 2.2%, respectively. In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude surged 4.3% to $93.78/barrel, capping an eighth consecutive weekly advance, its longest winning streak since October.
Perceived safe-haven assets caught a bid amid the apparent risk off tone, with the U.S. dollar rising 0.5%. Treasuries also rallied, with the yield on the 10-year note down 13 basis points (0.13%) to 1.92%, nearly erasing its weekly rout. The two-year note yield fell back below 1.50%, though the more Fed-sensitive rate remained 18 basis points (0.18%) higher compared to a week ago.
Yesterday, a report showed the Consumer Price Index (CPI) climbed at a 7.5% annual pace in January, marking the highest reading since February 1982. The update stoked expectations for aggressive monetary policy tightening. On the data front today, a preliminary February reading from the University of Michigan revealed consumer sentiment deteriorating to its lowest level since October 2011.
Nine of 11 S&P 500 sectors closed in negative territory, with Technology shares leading the decline. The Energy group outperformed amid the spike in oil prices, while the more traditionally defensive Utilities sector eked out a modest gain.
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