US stocks fall again as Russian invasion threat continues

US stocks fall again as Russian invasion threat continues

The Dow (INDU) closed down nearly 233 points, or 0.7%. The S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) 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 (N225) closed down 1% and 0.4%, respectively, while South Korea’s Kospi (KOSPI) was little changed. Chinese markets were mixed: The benchmark Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) Index gained 0.7%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (HSI) dropped 1.9%. In Europe, stocks were little changed at the open. London’s FTSE 100 (UKX) and France’s CAC 40 (CAC40) each rose 0.2%, while Germany’s DAX (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.

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