Dow plummets 464 points as Ukraine declares state of emergency

 2.5 million Ukrainian citizens living in Russia to evacuate immediately

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 464 points on Wednesday falling to its lowest level in 2022 so far as tensions between Russia and Ukraine continued to loom over markets. The blue-chip index fell 1.38% to 33,131, its lowest closing this year, while the S&P 500 declined 1.84%, dropping further into correction territory. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 2.57%. Both the Dow and Nasdaq posted their fifth consecutive losing sessions and fell below their Jan. 24 intraday lows Wednesday.

The drop pushed the Nasdaq closer to bear market territory as it fell more than 18% from its November closing record. “Stocks are going to struggle to find direction until financial markets have a clear answer on whether the Russia-Ukraine crisis will have a diplomatic solution or regional warfare,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst with OANDA said. Ukraine declared a state of emergency Wednesday and told 2.5 million Ukrainian citizens living in Russia to evacuate immediately as fears of an invasion ratcheted up.

Jeremy Grantham Doubles Down on Crash Call

Selloff Has Started

Jeremy Grantham, the famed investor who for decades has been calling market bubbles, said the historic collapse in stocks he predicted a year ago is underway and even intervention by the Federal Reserve can’t prevent an eventual plunge of almost 50%.

In a note posted Thursday, Grantham, the co-founder of Boston asset manager GMO, describes U.S. stocks as being in a “super bubble,” only the fourth of the past century. And just as they did in the crash of 1929, the dot-com bust of 2000 and the financial crisis of 2008, he’s certain this bubble will burst, sending indexes back to statistical norms and possibly further.

That, he said, involves the S&P 500 dropping some 45% from Wednesday’s close — and 48% from its Jan. 4 peak — to a level of 2500. The Nasdaq Composite, already down 8.3% this month, may sustain an even bigger correction.

Dow rises 646 points

 Markets shake off Omicron fears

U.S. markets surged on Monday as investors shook off concerns about the Omicron COVID-19 variant. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 646.95 points, or 1.87%, while the S&P 500 rose 1.17% and the Nasdaq Composite closed the day up 0.93% after all three indexes closed lower on Friday.

Travel and hospitality stocks helped to lead the rise amid positive sentiment surrounding virus fears as United Airlines, American Airlines, Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean all rose about 8%. Shares of Wynn resorts also gained 6.01%, while Marriott rose 4.48% and Hilton gained 4.01%. Meanwhile, Expedia stock gained 6.74% and Booking Holdings increased 5.34%.

Other stocks that would benefit from economic reopening, such as energy and industrials, also got a boost with Boeing gaining 3.72%, General Electric rising 3.54%, Caterpillar increasing 1.76% and Chevron climbing 1.59%. The market turnaround came after Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday indicated that infections from the Omicron variant may not be more severe than those caused by other variants.