Stock Market Drops as Russia Sours Over Peace Talks; Oil prices rise; Yields fall

The stock market fell on Wednesday after Russia downplayed hopes for progress in peace talks and intensified attacks in Ukraine. The oil price climbed back to almost 108 dollars a barrel.




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The S&P 500 fell 0.4%. If losses continue, the S&P 500 could end a four-day winning streak. The Nasdaq composite lost 0.6%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.2%. The small-cap Russell 2000 index fell 0.6%.

Volume on the NYSE and Nasdaq fell compared to the same time on Tuesday.

A Russian official dismissed rumors of a breakthrough in peace talks with Ukraine. Russian forces continued to shell Kiev today, even after a Russian official said on Tuesday it would drastically reduce military operations near Ukraine’s capital.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said today that Russia is sending new troops.

US stock market overview today

Index Symbol Price Profit loss % Change
Dow Jones (0DJIA) 35220.49 -73.70 -0.21
S&P 500 (0S&P5) 4609.83 -21.77 -0.47
Nasdaq (0NDQC) 14531.68 -87.96 -0.60
Russell 2000 (IWM) 210.35 -1.36 -0.64
IBD 50 (FFTY) 40.05 +0.04 +0.10
Last Update: 12:00 PM ET 3/30/2022

US crude rose 3.8% to $108 a barrel after briefly falling below $100 on Tuesday. The Energy Select SPDR ETF (XLE) rose 1%, leading all S&P sectors.

Big Oil also won on Wednesday, led by Netherlands-based Shell (SHEL), which rose 4%. Shell’s US depositary receipts are nearing a break from a flat base import of 56.23. Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) also won.

In another side effect of the Ukraine conflict, the German economy minister said the country has taken the first step in an emergency plan to protect against cuts in Russian gas supplies. The first step is a formality and for now the Russian supplies will continue, the minister said.

Yields continue to fall despite stock market losses

The 10-year government bond yield fell again to 2.37% on Wednesday. The yield on two-year government bonds rose to 2.35%. On Tuesday, the 10-year yield fell by 8 basis points, shortly below the 2-year yield. An inverted yield curve is regarded by many investors and economists as a harbinger of a recession.

Among the major US stock movers, Lululemon Athletica (LULU) rose 10% to its highest price since early January after the sportswear company beat earnings expectations. But sales for the quarter ended January were slightly below expectations. Lululemon stock is recovering from a 43% decline from November to mid-March.

Luxury furniture chain RH (RV) fell more than 12% in heavy volume. The company exceeded earnings expectations, but the full-year sales forecast disappointed.

Micron technology (MU) jumped to a gain of 3.5% as the market opened, but then retreated to trading flat and failed to regain the 50-day moving average. The memory chip maker beat analysts’ estimates for the quarter at the end of February and moved higher for the current period. Micron forms a double bottom base.

BioNTech (BNTX) rose 5% on small gains following a strong earnings report and optimistic full-year outlook. The company, which makes a Covid-19 vaccine together with a partner Pfizer (PFE), also announced a $1.5 billion share repurchase.

Employees and real estate stocks retain profit

employment agencies Robert Half (RHI) and ASGN (ASGM) dipped slightly below their buy range today but managed to hold onto most of their gains from the previous day. Both RHI and ASGN had crossed the buying points yesterday after completing cup-with-handle patterns.

Likewise real estate companies Brookfield Asset Management (BAM) and REIT Essex Property Trust (ESS) held in their buy zones after breaking their respective buying points of cup-with-handle patterns yesterday.

The Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) rose 0.2%. Nvidia (NVDA) fell 2% during heavy trading but remains higher throughout the week.

Energy, mining and agriculture stocks rebounded in the IBD 50. MP materials (MP) gained 5.5% and was back in the profit margin. CF Industries (CF) rose 1.9%.

Ahead of Friday’s jobs report, the ADP job growth estimate showed an increase of 455,000 jobs in March, from a revised 486,000 in February. The number in March was above the consensus forecast for 438,000 new jobs. The ADP report is a precursor to the Labor Department report, which is expected to show an increase of 438,000 private payrolls. The stock market will be looking at that headline on Friday morning.

Also this morning came the latest GDP revision for the fourth quarter with an increase of 6.9%. That is slightly lower than the 7% in the previous estimate.

Follow Michael Molinski on Twitter @IMmolinski

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