Daily market review

United States

Early gains gave way to renewed Ukraine worries Wednesday with growth stocks leading the selloff and many stocks ending at the day's lows. Markets reacted badly to rising bond yields on concern that the Ukraine dispute will push oil prices still higher. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 1.4 percent, the S&P 500 lost 1.8 percent and the NASDAQ dropped 2.6 percent.

Risk appetite suffered from a succession of frightening headlines on Ukraine, including warnings from US officials about Russian forces at the Ukraine frontier, news of a big cyber-attack against Ukraine, and the cancellation overnight of planned meetings between US and Russian foreign ministers.

FANMAG stocks dropped to weigh on the major averages, with Amazon off 3.6 percent and Apple down 2.6 percent, to end at the day's lows. Tesla, down 7.0 percent, led the electric vehicles sector lower, with Rivian off 7.8 percent. Chipmakers and software weighed on technology stocks with AMD, down 5.1 percent, giving up its February gains, and heavyweight Microsoft off 2.6 percent.

Weak results at TJX, down 4.2 percent, hurt the retail group. Airlines and machinery depressed industrials, with Delta down 4.1 percent and Deere off 4.6 percent. Restaurants and homebuilders weighed on consumer discretionary stocks.

On the positive side, precious metals advanced again on risk aversion and energy stocks were better after Tuesday's losses. Consumer staples and health care outperformed in defensive trading.

Among other companies in focus, Lowes, the home improvement retailer, gained 0.3 percent after raising its outlook. Gildan, the clothing maker, rose 3.8 percent on an earnings beat. Caesar's Entertainment, the hotel and casino business, gained 2.8 percent on better guidance.

On the downside, Texas Roadhouse, the restaurant chain, fell 0.7 percent on weak guidance. Tupperware, the consumer products company, fell 2.7 percent on inflation worries. Toll Brothers, the homebuilder, dropped 6.4 percent after warning about supply chain disruptions.

These price data reflect observations at 4:00 PM US ET: Dated Brent spot crude oil rose 13 cents to US$96.64 while spot gold rose US$9.36 to US$1,910.07. The US dollar was mixed vs. major currencies. Yields on the US Treasury 30-year bond rose 6 basis points to 2.29 percent and the 10-year note was up 6 basis points at 1.99 percent.


Equities were narrowly mixed with positive company earnings providing support but buyers constrained by uncertainty over the Ukraine situation. The Europe-wide STOXX 600 slipped 0.3 percent, the German DAX declined 0.4 percent, the French CAC eased 0.1 percent, and UK FTSE 100 was up 0.1 percent.

Sectors were mixed with food & beverage, autos & parts, chemicals, and media outperforming while lagging were retail, financial services, technology, industrials, and banks.

Among companies in the news, JDE Peet's, the beverage conglomerate, rallied 14 percent, Danone, the food giant, advanced 3.9 percent, Stellantis, the automaker, gained 4.3 percent, Barclays, the bank, gained 2.7 percent, and Henkel, the consumer goods maker, gained 2.0 percent on better-than-expected results.

On the downside, sportswear company Puma fell 1.7 percent. Rio Tinto, the miner, lost 1.2 percent, and Munich Re, the insurance giant, fell 1.6 percent on disappointing trading results.

Asia Pacific

Asia/Pacific markets improved as risk appetite recovered a bit after US sanctions on Russia were seen as less aggressive than expected. Japanese markets were closed on holiday and regional trading was light amid uncertainty over Ukraine.

China's CSI 300 index rose 1.1 percent and the value-stock heavy Shanghai composite gained 0.9 percent. Growth stocks outperformed. The Hong Kong Hang Seng index rose 0.6 percent with tech, health, and biotech better but all other sectors off.

The Taiwan Taiex and the South Korean KOSPI both rose 0.5 percent. Indian equities held slim ranges in lackluster trading with the BSE Sensex down 0.1 percent.

The Australian All Ordinaries index rose 0.7 percent on a recovery in risk tolerance. Tech, telecom, health care, and consumer staples fared best while consumer discretionary, real estate investment trusts, and utilities lagged.

Looking ahead*

In Asia/Pacific, the Bank of Korea policy announcement, Hong Kong merchandise trade and the Australian capital expenditures report are scheduled. In Europe, Swiss employment and UK CBI Distributive Trades reports are due. In North America, US GDP, US jobless claims, Chicago Fed National Activity Index, and US new home sales reports are on tap.

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