DJIA: 33,294.95, down 597.65
S&P 500: 4,306.26, down 67.68
Nasdaq: 13,532.46, down 218.94
Stocks fall; oil settles above $100/barrel
U.S. stocks finished firmly lower on Tuesday as Wall Street continued monitoring headlines around the escalating Ukraine-Russia conflict. Investors struck a decidedly risk-off tone amid worries a more destructive phase of the war was still to come. Also pressuring sentiment, West Texas Intermediate crude spiked 9.1% to $104.44/barrel, settling at its highest level in more than seven years despite the U.S. and other major economies agreeing on a coordinated release of crude stockpiles. Additionally, a measure of broader commodity prices surged the most since 2009, further stoking inflationary concerns. The Dow lost 597 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite each shed 1.6%. On Capitol Hill, all eyes will be on President Biden’s first State of the Union address at 9:00 p.m. ET tonight.
Perceived safe haven assets caught a bid, with COMEX gold soaring 2.4% to $1,946.20/ounce, while a gauge of the U.S. dollar jumped 0.7%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note dropped 10 basis points (0.10%) to 1.73%, its lowest level since mid-January. The yield on the two-year Treasury note slid nine basis points (0.09%) to 1.35%, as market participants dialed back expectations for a more aggressive Federal Reserve rate hike path as the crisis in Eastern Europe dented economic growth prospects.
Ten of 11 S&P 500 sectors closed in negative territory, with Energy the lone advancer. Financials led the decline, falling 3.7% in tandem with the drop in Treasury yields. Chipmakers also lagged, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index sinking 3.6%. Big-box retailer Target Corp. bucked the downtrend, climbing 9.5% after easily topping consensus earnings estimates and providing an upbeat outlook.
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