Stock market today: The Dow Jones slides as tensions between Russia and Ukraine escalate

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Tensions remain high over the situation of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border.

Chris McGrath/Getty Images

The stock market was down on Thursday on reports that Russia is continuing to reinforce its troops on the Ukrainian border.

In the morning discussions, the


Dow Jones Industrial Average

fell 402 points or 1.2%. the


S&P500

fell 1.1%, while


Nasdaq Compound

fell 1.4%. The losses deepened after hawkish comments from a member of the Federal Reserve.

Ukrainian authorities said there had been ceasefire violations, while US and European officials said Russia had continued to build up its troops along the Ukrainian border. Other reports reveal that US and Russian military aircraft have come dangerously close.

The markets could soon know more about the continuation of the Russian conflict. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will speak at the United Nations Security Council on Thursday.

The major concern of American investors concerns the supply of oil. Russia is one of the world’s largest producers, and sanctions or other supply restrictions could drive up the price of the raw material. On Thursday, WTI crude oil fell 2.9% to just below $91 a barrel, although it was still up around 2% last week.

The increase in inventories is a factor likely to weigh on oil prices and offset upward pressures related to the Russian problem. The US Energy Information Administration’s report for the week ended Feb. 11 released Wednesday found that US crude inventories rose about 0.3% to 411.5 million barrels.

The Federal Reserve’s monetary policy is not helping. The Fed would have to raise interest rates several times to fight high inflation, which would only get worse if oil prices soar. While the Fed’s January minutes, released on Wednesday, gave stocks a brief boost, the general expectation is that the Fed will make less money available, not more.

The hawkish comment from St. Louis Fed President James Bullard added to concerns Thursday that the Fed will raise interest rates more times than currently expected. Bullard said in a speech that the central bank should pursue the best possible monetary policy and markets would make their adjustments appropriately. He also said an appropriate benchmark lending rate could be 100 basis points – the equivalent of four rate hikes – by July 1. The markets had forecast four rate hikes for the whole year.

A full-scale military conflict with Russia, combined with Fed policy plans, would put a damper on expectations for economic growth. A worsening situation in Russia “would push up oil prices and make inflation worse and stickier,” said Tom Essaye, founder of Sevens Report Research. “The Fed should react to this. We are out of the period where the Fed can reject things because they are more temporary.

Investors therefore turned to safe-haven assets while weathering equity market volatility. The price of the 10-year Treasury bond rose, pushing the yield down to 1.96% from just over 2% at Wednesday’s close. “The Russia-Ukraine escalation-de-escalation cycle continues, bringing back supply for safe-haven assets this morning,” wrote Dennis DeBusschere, founder of 22VResearch.

Elsewhere, initial weekly jobless claims rose from 225,000 to 248,000 and beat estimates of 219,000.

Overseas, London


FTSE100

fell by 1.1% and that of Tokyo


Nikki 225

ended the day with a loss of 0.8%. Adding to geopolitical tensions, traders in Japan were faced with data showing exports rose less than expected in January and the country recorded its largest monthly trade deficit in eight years.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were down, trading in kind with stocks. The leading digital asset is down more than 2% in the past 24 hours to just over $43,000, according to data from CoinDesk.

Here are five stocks in motion on Thursday:

Nvidia (ticker: NVDA) was down 6.5% despite the chip group reporting strong financial results that beat expectations on Wednesday night, with an impressive guidance for its April quarter.

DoorDash (DASH) gained 11% after the company reported a smaller loss from the same quarter last year and posted sales of $1.3 billion, above expectations of $1.28 billion of dollars.

Hasbro (HAS) rose 4.9% as activist investor Alta Fox Capital Management seeks board changes and strategic alternatives.

Quickly (FSLY) stock fell 31% after the company beat earnings estimates, but provided a lower-than-expected full-year guidance.

Altice (ATUS) fell 22% after longtime bull analyst Philip Cusick of JPMorgan downgraded the stock to Neutral.

Write to Jacob Sonenshine at [email protected] and Jack Denton at [email protected]

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