US stocks fall sharply as Russia-Ukraine conflict escalates


(RTTNews) – Shares fell sharply during Friday morning, adding to the losses recorded in the previous session. The major averages all showed significant downward moves during the day.

Currently, the major averages are right next to their session lows. The Dow is down 462.79 points or 1.4% at 33,331.87, the Nasdaq is down 208.87 points or 1.5% at 13,329.07 and the S&P 500 is down 62 .39 points or 1.4% at 4,301.10.

The sell-off on Wall Street comes as concerns over the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continue to weigh on markets, with Russia stepping up its attacks.

Russia reportedly took control of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.

The Russian attack on the plant had previously caused a fire at the facility, raising concerns of a possible nuclear disaster.

Concerns over Ukraine overshadowed a generally closely watched Labor Department report showing that employment in the United States jumped again much more than expected in February.

The report showed that nonfarm payroll employment rose by 678,000 jobs in February after jumping an upwardly revised 481,000 jobs in January.

Economists expected employment to rise by 400,000 jobs from the 467,000 job addition originally reported the previous month.

With stronger than expected job growth, the unemployment rate fell to 3.8% in February from 4.0% in January. The unemployment rate is expected to drop to 3.9%.

The report also showed a slowdown in the annual rate of wage growth, which economists said could lead to less pressure on the Federal Reserve to aggressively raise interest rates.

Airline stocks extend the sharp decline seen in the previous session, dragging the NYSE Arca Airline Index down 4.2% to its lowest intraday level in over a year.

A sharp drop in Treasury yields is also weighing on bank stocks, with the KBW banking index falling 3.4%. The index fell to an intraday low of more than two months.

Brokerage, chemicals and hardware stocks also saw considerable weakness on the day, while gold and energy stocks resisted the downtrend.

In overseas trading, stock markets in the Asia-Pacific region fell during Friday’s session. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index plunged 2.2%, while China’s Shanghai Composite index fell 1%.

The main European markets also fell sharply on the day. While the French CAC 40 index fell 4.3%, the German DAX index was down 3.9% and the British FTSE 100 index was down 2.6%.

In the bond market, Treasuries climbed firmly into positive territory despite the strong jobs data. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite to its price, is down 10.6 basis points to 1.738%.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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