Stock market today: Wall Street sees relief even as Russian troops enter Ukraine capital

NEW YORK – Some relief flowed through Wall Street on Friday, even as Deadly attacks continue to rage in Ukraine. Stocks held relatively flat, oil fell, and investors turned away from gold and other traditional havens they favored as fear soars.

The S&P 500 index was 0.7% higher in early trading, followed on a wild Thursday, where the benchmark index moved from a 2.6% drop to a 1.5% gain. Stocks have rallied with uncertainty over how a Russian invasion will push up inflation, especially oil and natural gas prices, and drag on the global economy.

Such large fluctuations are likely to continue in the coming hours and weeks, with a lot of uncertainty not only about Ukraine but also about interest rates. The Federal Reserve is entangled in a delicate jump as it has to raise interest rates enough to curb high inflation but not too much to trigger a recession.

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On Friday morning, at least, the mood was calmer. A Wall Street fear gauge, which shows how worried traders are about upcoming movements in stock prices, fell 3%. Gold fell 1.8% after rising for weeks on worries about Russia and Ukraine. Treasury yields inched higher, signaling investors aren’t scrambling for safety as they had immediately after the Russian invasion.

The news that Russia was ready to send a delegation to Belarus to hold talks with Ukrainian officials helped somewhat. Meanwhile, a US government report showed that inflation last month mostly matched economists’ expectations, although it remained high. However, all of that comes against the backdrop of Russia’s push for its invasion of Ukraine to the outskirts of the capital on Friday after launching air strikes on cities and military bases, and sending troops and tanks from three sides to the point of causing the largest land conflict in Europe. since World War II.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 355 points, or 1.1%, at 33,583 at 10:27 a.m. ET. The Nasdaq Composite Index fluctuated between modest gains and losses. A day earlier, it had fallen more than 20% from its all-time high before surging again.

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The prices of everything from stocks to Bitcoin are fluctuating wildly with uncertainty over Russia and Ukraine, but the brightest spot in the market is probably oil and natural gas. Russia and Ukraine are key players in the global energy supply chain, especially for European consumers, among other commodities.

Oil prices fell on both sides of the Atlantic, a day after briefly hitting $100 a barrel amid concerns that conflict and upcoming sanctions could disrupt supply. Benchmark US crude fell 1.3% to $91.70 a barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, fell 0.8% to $94.67.

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In announcing sanctions on Russia that he described as tough on Thursday, President Joe Biden said he also wanted to limit the economic pain for Americans. That led to obvious relief that sanctions weren’t as severe as they could have been, and that falling oil prices helped build stocks.

Stocks also rose across much of Europe and Asia on Friday, recovering some of the heavy losses immediately following the Russian invasion. London’s FTSE 100 was up 3.4%, while France’s CAC 40 was up 2.9% and Germany’s DAX was up 2.8%.

Market players can bet that the crisis could slow central banks’ moves to cool inflation by raising interest rates and drawing other support to emerging economies. bear the brunt of the pandemic, said Ipek Ozkardeskaya of Swissquote Bank SA.

“But in reality, it is about the instability, the high volatility created by the high voltage environment,” Ozkardeskaya wrote in a commentary. “It’s impossible to say in which direction the market will move in the next five minutes.”


AP business writer Yuri Kageyama contributed.

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Dais Johnston

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