Stock Market Today: Russian Invasion Sets Off a Roller Coaster Day for Stocks

News of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine sent stocks plummeting today.

“We are clearly in risk mode in the market at the moment given the uncertainty surrounding military operations in Ukraine,” said Brian Price, head of investment management for Commonwealth Financial Network.

“There seems to be an element of surprise that events have escalated so quickly and I expect we will continue to see short-term volatility.”

Indeed, after the Dow Jones Industrial Average flirted with correction territory and the Nasdaq Compound slipped below its bear market level on an intraday basis, major stock indices reversed course as President Joe Biden announced a new round of sanctions against Russia, including the freezing of billions of dollars of Russian assets , and said he was sending additional US troops to Eastern European countries that are in NATO.

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At the close, the Nasdaq – which was down 3.4% at its session low – rose 3.3% to 13,473. S&P 500 Index also ended in positive territory, gaining 1.5% to end at 4,288. Dowmeanwhile, finished with a 0.3% gain at 33,223, after trading as low as 32,272 earlier.

Other news on the stock market today:

  • Small cap Russell 2000 joined the rollercoaster ride, ending the day up 2.6% at 1,995, after falling 2.6% in intraday trading.
  • Gold Futures Contracts gained 0.8% to settle at $1,926.30 an ounce, its highest level in 17 months.
  • Bitcoin rose 2% to $38,466.10. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices shown here are as of 4 p.m.)
  • Modern (MRNA) was a big gainer today, jumping 15.1% after earnings. In the fourth quarter, the drugmaker reported adjusted earnings of $11.29 per share on $7.2 billion in revenue, beating the $9.90 per share and $6.8 billion expected by analysts. The company also said it sold $17.7 billion of its COVID-19 vaccine and expects to sell at least $19 billion in fiscal 2022.
  • Reserve credits (BKNG), on the other hand, fell 7.1% after its quarterly results. The online travel booking company reported adjusted earnings of $15.83 per share and revenue of $3.0 billion in the fourth quarter, beating analysts’ expectations for a profit of $13.30 per share on sales of $2.9 billion. The company also said gross travel bookings for the three-month period increased 160% year-on-year to $19.0 billion. Still, Booking CEO David Goulden warned of “a potentially volatile environment with high COVID infection rates in some parts of the world and geopolitical uncertainty that could impact our business, particularly in Europe. “, in the company’s earnings call. UBS Research analyst Lloyd Walmsley maintained a buy rating on BKNG. “Looking forward, we see the possibility of a stronger than expected recovery in 2022 and 2023 in terms of room nights and bookings which we believe would result in attractive additional margins,” he wrote in a note. .

A way to hedge geopolitical risk

One way to protect against international turbulence: raw materials. That’s according to a team of strategists at Goldman Sachs Commodities Research.

“As news of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine emerged, commodity markets rallied aggressively, acting as a clear geopolitical hedge of first resort,” they write.

This was seen in the price action of several commodities today, including U.S. crude oil futures, which broke above $100 a barrel in intraday trading – their first move above. above that level since 2014 – before settling 0.8% higher at $92.81 a barrel.

And prices are likely to rise further, with many experts predicting that oil could hit the $125 a barrel mark. “Uncertainty around potential sanctions is starting to create a potential supply shock,” the team says. “In our view, until the uncertainty surrounding the rapidly escalating situation is resolved, commodity price risk remains on the upside.”

Not only would a continued rise in oil prices be good news for traditional energy stocks and energy exchange-traded funds, but also for master limited partnerships (MLPs). These companies, which are largely responsible for pipeline infrastructure and storage facilities, offer both exposure to the booming energy market and high dividend yields.

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