The Dow was logging a slim gain in the afternoon trade as investors weighed the latest geopolitical developments. Indexes had opened higher before fading after Russian President Vladimir Putin said there were “certain positive shifts” in talks with Ukraine, without providing any details.
“After we saw a bounce in the middle of the week, there is still too much uncertainty out there,” said Matt Maley, chief market strategist at Miller Tabak. “The market has had a tough couple of Mondays so I think the short-term players want to take some chips off the table.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 10.94 points, or 0.03%, to 33,185.01, the S&P 500 lost 17.82 points, or 0.42%, to 4,241.7 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 156.31 points, or 1.19%, to 12,973.66.
Shares of megacap growth companies Apple Inc and Tesla Inc slipped 1.3% and 4.8%, respectively, to weigh the most on the S&P 500.
Meta Platforms shares fell 2.7% as Russia opened a criminal case against the Facebook parent after the social network changed its hate speech rules to allow users to call for “death to the Russian invaders” in the context of the war with Ukraine.
Growth stocks also came under pressure as the US 10-year Treasury yield hovered near 2%. Expectations for an interest rate hike by the Fed at its March 15-16 meeting were largely cemented data after a hot inflation on Thursday.
The energy sector and materials sectors were up 0.2%.
In the latest developments, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Ukraine had reached a “strategic turning point” in the conflict with Russia, but Russian forces bombarded cities across the country and appeared to be regrouping for a possible assault on the capital Kyiv.
Stocks have struggled this year as concerns about the Russia-Ukraine crisis have deepened a sell-off initially fueled by worries over higher bond yields as the Fed is expected to tighten monetary policy this year to fight inflation.
A survey showed US consumer sentiment fell more than expected in early March as gasoline prices surged to a record high in the aftermath of Russia’s war against Ukraine, boosting one-year inflation expectations to the highest level since 1981.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.76-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.19-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 13 new 52-week highs and five new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 33 new highs and 215 new lows.
(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf in New York, Devik Jain, Sabahatjahan Contractor in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Cynthia Osterman)
By Lewis Krauskopf, Devik Jain and Sabahatjahan Contractor