Monday, February 14, 2022

DJIA: 34,566.17, down 171.89
S&P 500: 4,401.67, down 16.97
Nasdaq: 13,790.92, down 0.23

Stocks slip; geopolitical tension in focus

U.S. stocks finished lower for a third consecutive session on Monday as investors weighed lingering geopolitical tensions, ongoing inflationary pressures, and concerns over the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) policy pivot. The Dow lost 171 points, while the S&P 500 slipped 0.4%. The Nasdaq Composite ended just below the flat line.

Investors have been closely monitoring diplomacy talks between Russia, Europe, and the United States. Reports indicated that Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to continue engaging in discussions with Western leaders, who are aiming to prevent a war in Ukraine. Still, the U.S. relocated its embassy away from Kyiv as Secretary of State Antony Blinken cited a “dramatic acceleration in the buildup of Russian forces.” West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 2% to $94.98/barrel, a fresh seven-year peak, on supply worries. Perceived safe haven assets caught a bid amid the cautious tone, with the U.S. dollar up 0.3%, while COMEX gold hit a three-month high, advancing 1.5% to $1,867.50/ounce.

Additionally, uncertainty surrounding the path of Fed rate hikes remains a market overhang. This morning, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard reiterated his view that policymakers should react to the highest inflation reading in 40 years by moving more swiftly than previously planned to remove accommodative monetary stimulus. Treasuries resumed their rout, with the yield on the 10-year note up eight basis points (0.08%) to 2.00%.

Nine of 11 S&P 500 sectors closed in negative territory, with Energy shares leading the downturn despite rising oil prices. In corporate news, Splunk Inc. rallied 9.1% on reports that Cisco Systems Inc. bid over $20 billion to acquire the cloud software company.

Read more about it here.