U.S. Stocks Close Firmly Down In Negative Territory

U.S. stocks reeled under sustained selling pressure and ended firmly down in negative territory on Tuesday amid rising concerns about growth due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and a raft of sanctions imposed on Russia by the U.S. and Western allies.

The market stayed weak right through the day’s session and the major averages all ended with sharp losses. The Dow ended down by 597.65 points or 1.65 percent at 33,294.95. The S&P 500 drifted down 67.68 points or 1.55 percent to 4,306.26 and the Nasdaq finished with a loss of 218.94 points or 1.59 percent.

According to reports, Russian rockets have hit the center of the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, and a long line of tanks was heading toward Kyiv.

The first round of talks between Russia and Ukrain ended without a breakthrough. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the second round of talks aimed at ending Russia’s attack on Ukraine will take place soon.

Crude oil’s steep rise has raised concerns about inflation, adding to the woes.

Financial stocks tumbled, weighed down by concerns the sanctions imposed on Russia might significantly hurt the sector. American Express plunged 8.5 percent, while JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs both shed about 3.7 percent. Wells Fargo and Bank of America shares too closed sharply lower.

Boeing ended nearly 5 percent down. Nike, Visa, Honeywell International, Cisco Systems, McDonalds and Caterpillar declined 2 to 4 percent. Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Intel and Procter & Gamble also ended notably lower.

Chevron rallied nearly 4 percent. Home Depot shares gained about 1.6 percent. APA Corporation and Occidental Petroleum Corporation were among the other impressive gainers.

On the economic front, the IHS Markit US Manufacturing PMI was revised lower to 57.3 in February of 2022, from a preliminary estimate of 57.5 but above the previous month’s final reading of 55.5.

According to a report from the Institute for Supply Management, the ISM Manufacturing PMI for the US rose for a second straight month to 58.6 in February of 2022 from 57.6 in January and compared to market forecasts of 58. This latest reading showed that the overall economy expanded for the 21st consecutive month.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 1.2 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index advanced by 0.8 percent.

The major European markets ended sharply lower today. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 shed 1.72 percent, Germany’s DAX tumbled 3.85 percent and France’s CAC 40 fell 3.94 percent, while the pan European Stoxx 600 declined 2.37 percent.

In commodities trading, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures are up $7.54 or about 7.9 percent at $103.26 a barrel. Gold futures are rising $41.40 or 2.17 percent at $1,942.10 an ounce.

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