Dow Futures Fall More than 300 Points

Dow Futures Fall More than 300 Points

U.S. equity futures fell on Sunday evening as the price of U.S. oil briefly jumped to its highest level since 2008 amid the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Dow futures were down 365 points, or 1.09 percent, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 1.4 percent and 1.75 percent, respectively.

The U.S. oil benchmark, West Texas Intermediate crude futures, rose 7.68 percent to $124.56 per barrel; previously it reached $130 per barrel before pulling back slightly. Brent crude traded 9% higher at $129.17 per barrel after earlier reaching a high of $139.13 per barrel, its highest since July 2008.

On Sunday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the United States and its allies are considering a ban on Russian oil and natural gas imports in response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

In a letter to Democratic colleagues, Speaker Nancy Pelosi also stated that the U.S. House of Representatives is “exploring strong legislation” to prohibit the import of Russian oil, a move that would “further isolate Russia from the global economy.”

Gas prices have risen to their highest level since 2008, with the national average now exceeding $4 per gallon.

Evacuations from Mariupol and Volnovakha were canceled on Saturday after Russia violated a cease-fire agreement and fighting continued in or around both cities.

On Friday, the Dow fell 179 points, or 0.5 percent, and marked its fourth consecutive losing week. The S&P 500 fell 0.7 percent and closed more than 10% lower than its previous close, indicating a technical correction. The Nasdaq Composite fell 1.6 percent.

The moves came as investors continued to monitor developments in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which weighed heavily on sentiment despite positive economic data from the United States released on Friday.

Investors aren’t just jumping in and out; they’re rotating from Europe to the United States, from cyclical to large-cap defensive names.

European Stocks

European stocks fell sharply and finished the week down 7%, marking their worst week since March 2020. The VanEck Russia ETF is one of the few Russia-related funds still trading; it fell 2% to end the week down more than 60%.

Positive data from the U.S. Labor Department was insufficient for investors to dismiss concerns about Russia’s and Ukraine’s war. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the economy added 678,000 jobs in February. According to Dow Jones, the monthly job gain exceeded economists’ expectations of 440,000. The unemployment rate has decreased to 3.8 percent.

The Dow and S&P 500 fell about 1.3 percent for the week. The Nasdaq Composite fell about 2.8 percent.