Investors

US stocks falter as investors continue to monitor Ukraine-Russia developments and await Fed minutes

  • US stocks traded lower on Wednesday as investors continue to monitors tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
  • US retail sales jumped the most in 10 months and ahead of estimates as consumers deal with rising inflation.
  • Investors will look to today’s release of Fed minutes to gauge their stance on interest rate hikes.

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US stocks fell on Wednesday, giving up some of Tuesday’s gains as investors continue to monitor tensions between Russia and Ukraine, as well as rising inflation.

There were conflicting reports on Wednesday as to whether Russia is actually pulling back troops from Ukraine’s border, with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken telling “Good Morning America” that there has been “no meaningful pullback” of Russian troops. Meanwhile, Russia reiterated its view that Ukraine should not be admitted into NATO.

Inflation is also top of mind for investors, and minutes from the Federal Reserve’s most recent meeting are scheduled to be released this afternoon and could shed light on the Fed’s appetite for interest rate hikes next month.

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Wednesday:

US retail sales rose in January, rebounding to the highest level in 10 months as consumers shrugged off the wave of Omicron infections. Sales jumped 3.8%, ahead of economist estimates for a 2% rise, and well ahead of December’s 2.5% drop.

“The strong, broad-based rebound in retail sales after the weak December is particularly impressive given the drag from the Omicron variant and serves as a reminder that the U.S. consumer doesn’t stay down for long. Perhaps economic growth expectations for the first quarter have gotten overly pessimistic,” LPL’s Jeff Buchbinder told Insider.

Pricing pressures are also being felt overseas, with the UK reporting inflation of 5.5% in January, representing a 30-year high and putting pressure on the Bank of England to raise interest rates.

One reason for the surge in inflation is because of “terrible CEOs,” according to billionaire investor Carl Icahn. The activist investor said in a HBO documentary that too many executives are not held accountable in the US and are to blame for the rise in prices and widening of the wealth gap.

Roblox plunged 22% on Wednesday after its earnings report revealed a slowdown in growth and missed Wall Street estimates.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose as much as 1.59% to $93.53 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, jumped as much as 1.77% to $94.93 per barrel.

Gold rose as much as 0.17% to $1,859.40 per ounce. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell 2 basis points to 2.02%.

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There were conflicting reports on Wednesday as to whether Russia is actually pulling back troops from Ukraine’s border, with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken telling “Good Morning America” that there has been “no meaningful pullback” of Russian troops. Meanwhile, Russia reiterated its view that Ukraine should not be admitted into NATO.

Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/stock-market-news-investors-ukraine-russia-tensions-inflation-retail-sales-2022-2?op=1

Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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