Stocks Whipsawed on Russia-Ukraine Reports

  • US stocks ended lower on Tuesday after a volatile session as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to weigh heavily on investors.
  • Reports of Ukraine accepting Russia’s demand to not seek membership to NATO or the EU led to afternoon gains for the market.
  • But those gains were reversed following a report that Russia would end exports of certain raw materials until December 31.

US stocks finished lower after being whipsawed on Tuesday as developments surrounding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continued to weigh heavily on investors.

Early morning concerns of rising commodity prices and the potential for stagflation led to losses in all three broad indexes. But they quickly turned into significant gains on reports that Ukraine would be open to a key demand from Russia: to not seek entry into NATO.

But a near 2% gain in the Nasdaq 100 suddenly evaporated following rumblings that Russia would end exports of certain raw materials until December 31, suggesting that the conflict between Russia and Western countries could drag on for longer than expected.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4:00 pm ET close on Tuesday:

Prices of oil, wheat, and precious metals all saw gains on Tuesday, extending their Monday surge as sized investors up the impact of crippling sanctions that have hit Russia, which is a major exporter of several commodities. Those moves were exacerbated by President Biden’s decision to ban US imports of Russian oil, natural gas, and coal.

As commodities jump, expectations for hotter inflation are hitting the economic outlook.

“[We] need to start admitting we are running into stagflation,” DoubleLine’s Jeff Gundlach said in an interview with Magnifi Media on Monday. Stagflation occurs when inflation is high and economic growth is slowing, and has historically been a poor recipe for stock prices.

A short-squeeze and crippling economic sanctions against Russia led to nickel prices soaring more than 110% so far this week, topping $100,000 a ton. The London Metal Exchange suspended nickel trading and said it wouldn’t resume before Friday.

JPMorgan is removing the Russian sovereign and corporate debt from all of its widely tracked bond benchmarks, and the Russian stock market remains closed. A Russian stock ETF from VanEck has also been halted and no longer trades.

Biden is preparing to sign an executive order that would expand US oversight of the $2 trillion cryptocurrency market.

One defensive tech haven amid the heightened market


volatility

is Apple, according to Wedbush, which praised the iPhone maker’s unveiling of a budget 5G iPhone on Tuesday. The third-generation iPhone SE will cost $429.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose as much as much as 4.14% to $124.34 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, jumped as much as 4.56% to $128.83.

Bitcoin fell 0.08% to $38,520. Gold rose as much as 3.14% to $2,058.60 per ounce. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose 8 basis points to 1.85%.

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