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Dow Hits Fourth Week Of Losses, Oil Nears $120 Per Barrel As Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine Continues

Topline

Despite a solid February jobs report, the stock market fell once again Friday—with the Dow losing 200 points to close its fourth straight week of losses —as surging oil prices neared $120 per barrel amid the escalating conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Key Facts

Stocks ended the week on a down note: The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.5%, nearly 200 points, while the S&P 500 lost 0.8% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite 1.7%.

Oil prices, which have skyrocketed in recent weeks, jumped yet again on Friday: U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude rose to over $115 per barrel, while global benchmark Brent crude rose to nearly $119 per barrel.

Markets failed to rally despite a strong jobs report on Friday morning, in which the U.S. economy added back 678,000 jobs in February and the unemployment rate ticked down to 3.8%.

Stocks fell amid news that Russian troops attacked and seized Ukraine’s nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia, one of the largest in Europe, with reports of a fire breaking out during the fighting.

U.S. officials condemned the Russian attack on the power plant as “madness,” calling the intentional targeting of civilians and the plant a “war crime” that nearly caused a “nuclear catastrophe.”

Surging aerospace and defense stocks, meanwhile, marched higher Friday as the U.S. government and its allies continue to ship weapons to Ukraine: Shares of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman have risen roughly 20% each since Russia invaded Ukraine just over a week ago.

Crucial Quote:

“U.S. stocks might be less exposed to the war in Ukraine, but the hit to global growth and inflation impact can and will eventually drag down the US economy,” says Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda. “In the past 24 hours, financial markets went from hoping of talks of a potential ceasefire to seeing the Russians seize a nuclear plant, which now has many investors expecting a much longer military conflict.”

Contra:

“Once again, the bears emerged victorious, which means the bulls haven’t won a single week so far in 2022,” says Vital Knowledge founder Adam Crisafulli. He still remains “relatively positive” about the market’s prospects in the near-term, arguing that Russia faces an “untenable” situation with its decimated economy, while Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has “mostly de-risked” the central bank’s upcoming meeting by clarifying his approach for upcoming rate hikes.

Further Reading:

U.S. Job Growth Surged In February: Economy Added Back 678,000 Jobs As Unemployment Rate Ticked Down To 3.8%

War Stocks Are Surging As Russia-Ukraine Conflict Rages On: Lockheed Martin, Northrop Up 20%

Dow Jumps 600 Points, Oils Hits 11-Year High As ‘Investors Are Whipsawed’ By Rate Hikes And Russia-Ukraine Conflict

Wheat Prices Surge Amid Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine—Here’s What That Means For U.S. Food Costs

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