The Dow ( closed down nearly 233 points, or 0.7%. The )S&P 500 ( and )Nasdaq ( Composite ended the day with losses of 0.7% and 1.2%. )
The US stock market will be closed Monday in observance of the Presidents’ Day holiday.
Global markets were mostly stable in spite of the volatility on Wall Street.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 and Japan’s benchmark Nikkei ( closed down 1% and 0.4%, respectively, while South Korea’s )Kospi ( was little changed. Chinese markets were mixed: The benchmark )Shanghai Composite ( Index gained 0.7%, Hong Kong’s )Hang Seng Index ( dropped 1.9%. In Europe, stocks were little changed at the open. London’s )FTSE 100 ( and France’s )CAC 40 ( each rose 0.2%, while Germany’s )DAX ( ticked up 0.1%. Market watchers are nervous about what a military conflict between Russia and Ukraine could mean for oil prices and the global economy, especially if the United States and major economies in Europe become involved. Investors detest uncertainty. A full-blown invasion of Ukraine would trigger a knee-jerk selloff in stocks as businesses confront the possibility of an oil shock, higher inflation and a sanctions regime. )
A prolonged market downturn would wipe out wealth built up by families in the stock market and in retirement accounts. Market instability could also dent confidence among consumers and businesses.
-— Paul R. La Monica, Charles Riley and Matt Egan contributed to this report.