Stock sell-off intensifies as concerns grow around Ukraine

Yields on 10-year Treasury notes, which last week surpassed 2% for the first time since 2019, fell about eight basis points, or 0.08 percentage points, to about 1.96 percent. Yields fall as bond prices rise, which happens when investors buy them as they move money away from riskier investments like stocks.

But the widespread nature of Thursday’s sell-off points to more than one cause. Oil has been trading at prices not seen since 2014, and the aggression of Russia, Europe’s largest oil producer and supplier of natural gas, will almost certainly push energy prices up. higher. But on Thursday, oil fell, with West Texas Intermediate, the US crude benchmark, down 2%, to $91.76 a barrel. Natural gas fell more than 4%.

“Concerns about future growth and recession risks are fresh on traders’ minds,” said Edward Moya, a senior market analyst at OANDA. “There is a lot of fear that the optimistic growth outlook for 2023 is approaching.”

Markets have been volatile for months, with concerns about the impact of the Omicron variant on the economy in November and December leading to uncertainty in January and February over persistently high inflation and how the Fed will react to it. Thursday’s drop was the S&P 500’s worst day in just two weeks, and if the index ends this week in the red it would be the fifth weekly drop in just seven weeks of the year. The index is down 8.7% from its January 3 high. The Nasdaq composite peaked on November 19, shortly before the Omicron variant was revealed, and is down 14.6% since.

The consumer staples sector was one of the few that did not fall on Thursday. Walmart is one of the best performers in the S&P 500, up 4% later reported that its revenue had grown to $152.9 billion, up 0.5% in the three months ended January from a year earlier. The company also said sales across its entire US business grew 5.7% to about $105 billion in the quarter.

AutoNation fell 3.8% as the company’s chief executive said it was difficult to predict whether it could maintain its current high levels of profitability into 2022. before that, while revenue rose 14 percent to $6.6 billion.

In Europe, stock indexes fell. Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.7% on Thursday. Asian markets closed mixed. Stock sell-off intensifies as concerns grow around Ukraine

Fry Electronics Team

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