Wall Street ends sharply lower as Ukraine crisis sows fear

  • Target Corp climbs on strong outlook for 2022
  • Zoom drops on pessimistic annual revenue and profit forecasts
  • Indices: Dow -1.76%, S&P 500 -1.55%, Nasdaq -1.59%

March 1 (Reuters) – Wall Street ended sharply lower on Tuesday, with financial stocks taking much of the damage for a second straight day as the Russia-Ukraine crisis deepened and sparked investor anxiety.

Ten of 11 S&P 500 sector indices fell, led by financials (.SPSY), down 3.7%.

Wells Fargo fell 5.8% and the broader Banks Index (.SPXBK) fell 4.8% as 10-year US Treasury yields fell to five-week lows amid a flight to safe haven debt.

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Chevron Corp (CVX.N) jumped 4% to close at its highest level on record after the company raised its share buyback program and operating cash flow forecast through 2026, and as oil prices surged. Read more

The energy index (.SPNY) rose about 1%.

Russia warned Kyiv residents to flee their homes and rained rockets on the city of Kharkiv as Russian commanders stepped up their bombardment of Ukrainian urban areas in a change of tactics after their six-day assault halted . Read more

The dispute has prompted sharp retaliation from the West, including blocking some Russian lenders’ access to the SWIFT international payment system.

“Investors are swimming in a soup of fear and they don’t know how to factor geopolitical news into their prices,” said Mike Zigmont, head of research and trading at Harvest Volatility Management in New York. “We are dealing with a purely emotional response from investors.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) fell 1.76% to end at 33,294.95 points, while the S&P 500 (.SPX) lost 1.55% to 4,306.24.

The Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) fell 1.59% to 13,532.46.

The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (.SOX) fell 3.6%, while Advanced Micro Devices (AMD.O) fell 7.7%.

The trade was busy. Volume on U.S. exchanges was 14.9 billion shares, compared to an average of 12.3 billion for the full session over the past 20 trading days.

On a positive note, data showed U.S. manufacturing activity picked up more than expected in February as COVID-19 infections waned, while construction spending surged in January. Read more

“Given that the US economy is picking up speed, the uncertainty will be relatively short-lived and it would not be surprising if the market regains its footing over the next two weeks when clarity is restored,” said Jeff Schulze. , investment manager. strategist at ClearBridge Investments.

Target Corp (TGT.N) jumped 9.9% after the big-box retailer forecast 2022 sales and earnings to beat analysts’ expectations. Read more

Defense stocks added to recent gains, with Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) and Northrop Grumman (NOC.N) up more than 3%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (.VIX), also known as the Wall Street Fear Gauge, hit its highest level since Feb. 24.

Zoom Video Communications Inc (ZM.O) fell 7.4% after forecasting lower revenue and profit for the full year, signaling a hit from fierce competition and lower registrations for its platform principal of meetings. Read more

The S&P 500 is down about 10% in 2022 and the Nasdaq is down about 13%.

Falling issues outnumbered rising ones on the NYSE by a ratio of 1.55 to 1; on the Nasdaq, a ratio of 1.80 to 1 favored the decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 26 new 52-week highs and 16 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 40 new highs and 150 new lows.

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Reporting by Devik Jain and Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru, and Noel Randewich in Oakland, California; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty, Sriraj Kalluvila and Cynthia Osterman

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