Ukraine Crisis Jitters Sink U.S. Stocks
New York (AFP) — U.S. stocks fell Thursday, dragged down as a surge in Ukraine crisis offset encouraging U.S. economic growth and unemployment data.
After an hour of trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 67.68 points (0.40 percent) at 17,054.33.
The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite dropped 16.40 (0.36 percent) to 4,553.22.
The broad-market S&P 500 pulled back from Wednesday’s record close, shedding 6.03 (0.30 percent) at 1,994.09.
Stocks were under pressure “as a flare-up in Ukrainian concerns is weighing on sentiment and overshadowing stronger-than-expected domestic reports on jobless claims and 2Q GDP,” Charles Schwab said.
Ukraine and the West said Thursday that Russian troops were actively involved in the fighting tearing apart the east of the country, raising fears of a direct military confrontation between Kiev and Moscow, its former Soviet master.
The U.N. Security Council announced it would hold an emergency meeting on Ukraine at noon.
The geopolitical tensions cast a cloud on positive U.S. economic news. The Commerce Department said the U.S. economy expanded at a 4.2 percent annual rate in the second quarter, revising upward its 4.0 percent July estimate.
New claims for unemployment insurance benefits, a sign of the pace of layoffs, fell last week and the four-week moving average also moved lower, Labor Department data showed.
And pending home sales climbed in July to their highest level in almost a year.
Dow component JPMorgan Chase dropped 1.1 percent. The largest U.S. bank by assets said it was cooperating with the FBI in an investigation of a cyber hacking attack against several U.S. financial institutions.
Dollar General rose 1.2 percent after reporting fiscal second quarter sales trended higher. The deep-discount store chain also confirmed its commitment to buy Family Dollar, which rejected its $9.7 offer last week.
Family Dollar edged up 0.1 percent.
Abercrombie & Fitch took a beating after the teen apparel chain reported second-quarter sales dropped six percent. Shares dove 5.6 percent.
Bond prices traded higher. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury slid to 2.33 percent from 2.36 percent Wednesday, while the 30-year fell to 3.06 percent from 3.11 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.
AFP Photo/Spencer Platt
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