Wall St bounces in choppy session as U.S. bans Russian oil imports

  • Caterpillar jumps on Jefferies upgrade to buy
  • Energy sector set for 8th day winning streak
  • Indexes up: Dow 1.4%, S&P 1.1%, Nasdaq 1.6%

March 8 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks rose in volatile trading on Tuesday, with investors evaluating fast-paced developments around the crisis in Ukraine as the United States banned Russian oil and other energy imports over the invasion.

Energy shares (.SPNY) climbed 1.9%, extending a seven-session rally, as President Joe Biden announced the ban, underscoring strong bipartisan support for a move that he acknowledged would drive up U.S. energy prices. read more

Britain said it would phase out imports of Russian oil and oil products by the end of 2022. read more

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The United States is not a leading buyer of Russian oil, but the ban is likely to put pressure on its allies to wean their economies off Russian energy.

“You have a situation where investors who have been caught overweight to tech and underweight energy are now playing catch-up on the back of the spike in the commodity prices,” said John Petrides, portfolio manager at Tocqueville Asset Management in New York.

Megacaps Amazon.com Inc , Google owner Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) and Meta Platforms (FB.O) edged higher after plummeting on Monday.

Brent crude surged past $130 per barrel along with other commodities, triggering alarm over surging inflation and the impact on global economic growth.

“The idea that the economy will slow on the margins ever so much and maybe we don’t get a commensurate lowering of interest rate expectations because we have to fight off inflation. These two opposing forces are playing into the hands of investors right now,” said Josh Wein, portfolio manager at Hennessy Funds.

Six of the 11 major S&P sectors advanced, with financials (.SPSY) rising 1.1%, after falling for three straight sessions.

The banks index (.SPXBK) added 2.4% tracking U.S. 10-year Treasury yields , which climbed above 1.86% after hitting a two-month low on Monday. US

Stocks have struggled since the start of the year as concerns about the Russia-Ukraine crisis have deepened a sell-off initially fueled by expectations of the Federal Reserve tightening its monetary policy to fight inflation.

The Nasdaq on Monday ended down 20.1% from its Nov. 19 record high close, confirming the tech-heavy index has been in a bear market, according to a widely used definition.

At 12:33 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) rose 445.47 points, or 1.36%, to 33,262.85, the S&P 500 (.SPX) gained 47.42 points, or 1.13%, to 4,248.51 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) gained 207.06 points, or 1.61%, to 13,038.02.

In Ukraine, Kyiv accused Moscow of shelling a humanitarian corridor it had promised to open to let residents flee the besieged port of Mariupol. read more Russia calls the campaign a “special operation”.

Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N) jumped 8% after Jefferies upgraded the construction equipment maker’s stock to “buy” from “hold” as a hedge against inflation and prospects of more investments.

The CBOE volatility index (.VIX) fell after closing at its highest level since January 2021 in the previous session.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.6-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.9-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P 500 posted 18 new 52-week highs and 76 new lows while the Nasdaq recorded 46 new highs and 701 new lows.

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Reporting by Devik Jain, Sabahatjahan Contractor and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Sriraj Kalluvila

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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