29 May 2017

Stocks Drop on Heightened Russia Concerns

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Stocks ended lower on Thursday, continuing a recent streak of weakness as Russia's surprisingly harsh retaliatory measures in response to Western sanctions raised concerns about global growth. In addition to Moscow's ban on imports of many Western foods, following sanctions imposed for Russia's support of rebels in eastern Ukraine, investors worried that the conflict between Russian and Ukraine is escalating, with the downing of a Ukrainian fighter jet.

The declines briefly dragged the Dow below its 200-day moving average in afternoon trading. The S&P 500 is now nearly 4 percent below the record closing high it set last month Analysts say, while the full extent of the sanctions is still unknown, escalating tensions in Russia could continue to spur selling in stocks.

All but one of the S&P 500's industry sectors ended down on the day, backtracking from brief gains in the morning. Consumer staples shares slipped 0.8 percent on Thursday, while utilities shares posted the sole sector gains. Health insurer stocks were poor performers as well.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 75.07 points, or 0.46 percent, to 16,368.27, the S&P 500 ended down 10.67 points to 1,909.57, and the Nasdaq Composite  lost 20.09 points to 4,334.97.

Jobless claims reports lent optimism to the market in the morning as the four-week claims average fell to its lowest level since February 2006, suggesting labor market conditions are continuing to improve. About 5.5 billion shares traded on all U.S. platforms, according to BATS exchange data, compared with the five-day average of 6.9 billion.

Click here to access the full article on Reuters.

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