U.S. stocks tumbled Tuesday afternoon, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average showing the sharpest decline, as Russia stepped up attacks on Ukraine and warned it would begin “high-precision” strikes on the capital, Kyiv.
How are stock indexes performing?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
fell 765 points, or 2.3%, to about 33,138
The S&P 500
was down about 81 points, or 1.9%, at 4,292.
The Nasdaq Composite
dropped about 234 points, or 1.7%, to about 13,516.
On Monday, the first trading day after Western nations started to block access to some Russian bank to the SWIFT messaging system, the Dow fell 166 points, or 0.5%, the S&P 500 declined 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.4%.
What’s driving markets?
Stocks were sinking after Russia on Tuesday stepped up its shelling of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. There wasn’t any tangible progress made in cease-fire talks between Russia and Ukraine held near the Ukrainian border with Belarus on Monday, though the two sides agreed to keep talking.
“Clearly the Russia-Ukraine situation is the primary driver of the markets,” with investors buying U.S. Treasurys in “a flight to safety,” said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab, in a phone interview Tuesday. When prices of Treasurys rise, yields fall.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note BX:TMUBMUSD10Y was trading about 12 basis points lower Tuesday afternoon at around 1.72%. That compares with around 2% ahead of the invasion.
“Financials are getting pounded because the 10-year is down sharply today,” Frederick said of its yield, adding that financial companies tend to do well in a rising rate environment. “That’s dragging down the Dow.”
American Express Co.
was leading the Dow’s decline Tuesday afternoon with a a nearly 7% drop while JPMorgan Chase & Co.
was trading about 4.5% lower…