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May 25, 2022
Dow Drops 700 Points, Nasdaq Briefly Falls Into Bear Market After Russia Invades Ukraine
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Dow Drops 700 Points, Nasdaq Briefly Falls Into Bear Market After Russia Invades Ukraine

Topline
The stock market finished higher on Thursday, reversing steep declines from earlier in the day—with the Nasdaq briefly falling into a bear market—after Russian troops invaded Ukraine, a move which caused oil prices to rise to over $100 per barrel for the first time since 2014.

Energy prices are soaring, with Brent rising above $100 for the first time since 2014.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Key Facts

Despite a steep decline at the open, stocks rebounded later in the day: The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.3%, nearly 100 points, while the S&P 500 jumped 1.5% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite 3.3%.

All three major indexes started the day down more than 2%, while the Nasdaq briefly opened in bear market territory—more than 20% below its record high last November—before reversing losses.

Stock market futures took a nosedive overnight after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a “special military operation” in Ukraine, with several media outlets reporting explosions across Ukraine immediately after. 

Ukrainian officials confirmed that Russia has launched a “full-scale attack from multiple directions,” and at least 40 Ukrainian soldiers and 10 civilians have been killed in the first hours of the Russian invasion.

Western leaders, who have already begun unleashing sanctions on Russia, widely condemned the invasion: President Joe Biden said in a statement that “the world will hold Russia accountable.”

Oil prices jumped in response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, with Brent crude at one point on Thursday jumping above $100 per barrel for the first time since 2014.

Crucial Quote:
“Investors are waking up to some hard truths this morning, as Russia moved on Ukraine overnight. . . . This is a sad day for humanity as millions of people are affected,” says Cliff Hodge, chief investment officer for Cornerstone Wealth. While markets should expect short-term volatility, rising oil prices are a “problem,” as they could add to “sticky inflation, which may keep pressure on the Fed to stay on course,” he says.

What To Watch For:
With the Russian invasion of Ukraine adding more uncertainty to markets, the Federal Reserve will now likely only raise interest rates by 25 basis points (not 50 basis points) at its March meeting, according to Jamie Cox, managing partner for Harris Financial Group. “Investors with energy and commodity exposure should consider using this spike in prices to rebalance into heavily beaten-down software names, particularly in the area of cybersecurity.”

Further Reading:
S&P 500 Falls Deeper Into Correction Territory As Ukraine Declares State Of Emergency (Forbes)

The Federal Reserve’s ‘War On Inflation’ Is More Important For Stocks Than The Russia-Ukraine Conflict (Forbes)

Stocks Plunge, Oil Prices Surge After Putin Orders Troops Into Eastern Ukraine (Forbes)

Recession Risks Are ‘Rising’ As Federal Reserve Scrambles To Fight Inflation, Experts Say (Forbes)

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