Daily Market Color

Potential War in Ukraine Becomes the Latest Risk to Roil Markets

Week kicks off with a wild session as market digests possibility of war in Ukraine. Stocks and yields plunged lower during the first half of today’s session, rates initially falling by 10 basis points across the curve while the S&P 500 declined by as much as 4% on the prospect of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. U.S. equities would bounce back though, as would long-term yields, both somehow closing the day higher than where they began- the 10-year yield ultimately closing at 1.77%.

Omicron brings U.S. economy to a halt. U.S. Economic activity slammed on the brakes to start the year as omicron cases rise across the country. Markit’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell in January from the previous month and missed analyst expectations printing at 50.8. A number over 50 indicates growth from the prior period. The decrease was driven by the service industry as customer-facing services have struggled to stay open as cases hit record highs in the last few weeks.

Geopolitical tensions on the rise. Over the weekend, news out of the U.K. reported that Russia was looking to oust current Ukrainian leadership and replace with a pro-Kremlin government. Tensions have been rising in recent months as Russia has continually built a military presence along the Ukrainian border. The U.S. has ordered families of U.S. diplomats to leave Ukraine, and has also committed 8,500 troops with NATO also boosting its deployments to deter any Russian advancement.

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