Stock Groups

S&P 500 Struggles for Direction as Ukraine Crisis, Inflation Jitters Weigh -Breaking


© Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim — The S&P 500 struggled for direction Thursday, as investors piled into defensive sectors of the market amid ongoing concern Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will add to the red-hot pace of inflation that could hurt the economy.

It fell to 0.64%. Or 119 points.

Utilities, a defensive corner of the market, was the biggest sector gainer as investors mulled the prospect of further inflation pressures following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as prices for oil, wheat and precious metals trend higher.

The five-year breakeven rate on Treasury inflation protected securities – a closely watched gauge of inflation expectations — jumped  to 3.23%, a record high.

U.S. oil price briefly rose to $116/barrel intraday. Gas prices in some areas of the U.S. climbed above $5/gallon.

In testimony on Thursday, Powell said inflation the upward pressure on inflation was expected continue for “at least awhile” and flagged the risk that the Ukraine crisis will prolonged supply chain problems, which have been a key driver of inflation.

“It is not going to help at all with supply chains, because ships are not being offloaded,” Powell said in testimony before the Senate on Thursday.

There was some progress on the Ukraine-Russia talks, meanwhile, as both sides agreed to reportedly agreed to organize safe passages to evacuate civilians and to deliver humanitarian supplies.

French President Emmanuel Macron reportedly warned, however, that “the worst is still to come” in Ukraine as Putin is hellbent on taking “full control” through either diplomatic or military measures.

The gains of tech stocks were not as strong as they had been a day prior. Big tech was mostly lower than the semiconductor heavyweights NVIDIA, Advanced Micro Devices Inc (NASDAQ 🙂 and Intel weighed heavily on this sector.

Intel (NASDAQ:) fell more than 1% after Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to underweight from equal weight and cut the price target to $47 from $55, citing “more actionable opportunities elsewhere.”

While the longer term turnaround capability in Intel’s core business is a positive, the “next couple of years are likely to see the stock move sideways and we see more actionable opportunities elsewhere in our coverage,” {{Morgan Stanley said.}}

After reporting Fourth-quarter results surpassing Wall Street expectations, Snowflake’s (NYSE:), slumped 18%, although guidance was below the mark, raising concerns about slowing future growth.

Best Buy (NYSE:) More than 9% increase despite lower quarterly revenues and guidance for full year. Analyst estimates were not met.  

Kroger (NYSE) surged 10% following reporting earnings per share $0.91 and revenue $33.1 billion, which beat expectations of $0.74 billion and $32.9 billion respectively. Additionally, guidance was stronger than anticipated.

Disclaimer: Fusion MediaWe remind you that this site does not contain accurate or real-time data. CFDs include stocks, futures, indexes and Forex. Prices are provided not by the exchanges. Market makers provide them. Therefore, prices can be inaccurate and differ from actual market prices. These prices should not be used for trading. Fusion Media does not accept any liability for trade losses you may incur due to the use of these data.

Fusion MediaFusion Media or any other person involved in the website will not be held responsible for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on this information, including charts, buy/sell signals, and data. You should be aware of all the potential risks and expenses associated with trading in the financial market. It is among the most dangerous investment types.