Wall Street ends lower as war in Ukraine stirs uncertainty



(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window.)

* Kroger surges on strong earnings outlook

* American Eagle tumbles on poor forecast (Updates with close of session)

By Devik Jain and Noel Randewich

March 3 (Reuters) - Wall Street ended lower on Thursday, with growth stocks including Tesla and Amazon losing ground as the Ukraine crisis kept investors on edge.

Tesla TSLA.O and Amazon were among the stocks weighing most on the S&P 500. The S&P 500 growth index .IGX underperformed the value index .IVX .

Reflecting a defensive mood on Wall Street, the S&P 500 utilities .SPLRCU and real estate .SPLRCR indexes rallied.

With Russia's invasion of Ukraine now a week in, hundreds of Russian soldiers and Ukrainian civilians have been killed, and Russia itself has been plunged into isolation.

"The market is entirely locked on what this geopolitical turmoil looks like," said Ross Mayfield, an investment strategist at Baird in Louisville, Kentucky. "Volatility is likely to remain for probably the near term, and maybe even the medium term, because I just don't see what an acceptable off ramp in the next couple of weeks for Ukraine or Putin."

Also, soaring prices of oil and other commodities have stoked fears that recent high inflation could combine with stagnant economic growth, making it more difficult for the Federal Reserve and other major central banks to manage interest rates.

The percentage of fund managers who expect so-called stagflation within the next 12 months stood at 30%, compared with 22% last month, a survey from BofA Global Research showed.

Wall Street surged in the previous session after Fed Chair Jerome Powell said he would back a quarter point rate increase at the March 15-16 meeting, assuaging some fears of a more aggressive hike.

"We are going to stay in a tight range until we have the Fed meeting in two weeks because there's limited earnings," predicted Jay Hatfield, chief investment officer at Infrastructure Capital Management in New York.

"There's no real reason to be long, unless, of course, there's some peace or stability in Ukraine, which doesn't seem likely."

According to preliminary data, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 23.08 points, or 0.53%, to end at 4,363.46 points, while the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC lost 212.72 points, or 1.55%, to 13,539.30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 94.45 points, or 0.28%, to 33,796.90.

Meanwhile, data showed a measure of U.S. services industry activity dropped to a one-year low in February and employment contracted.

Kroger Co KR.N jumped after the grocer forecast upbeat annual same-store sales and profit, encouraged by strong demand for its pick-up and delivery services and sustained home-cooking trends.

American Eagle Outfitters Inc AEO.N slid after the apparel chain forecast a decline in earnings for the first half of 2022.
Reporting by Devik Jain and Sabahatjahan Contractor in Bengaluru and by Noel Randewich in Oakland, Calif.; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty, Sriraj Kalluvila and Grant McCool

Disclaimer: The XM Group entities provide execution-only service and access to our Online Trading Facility, permitting a person to view and/or use the content available on or via the website, is not intended to change or expand on this, nor does it change or expand on this. Such access and use are always subject to: (i) Terms and Conditions; (ii) Risk Warnings; and (iii) Full Disclaimer. Such content is therefore provided as no more than general information. Particularly, please be aware that the contents of our Online Trading Facility are neither a solicitation, nor an offer to enter any transactions on the financial markets. Trading on any financial market involves a significant level of risk to your capital.

All material published on our Online Trading Facility is intended for educational/informational purposes only, and does not contain – nor should it be considered as containing – financial, investment tax or trading advice and recommendations; or a record of our trading prices; or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instruments; or unsolicited financial promotions to you.

Any third-party content, as well as content prepared by XM, such as: opinions, news, research, analyses, prices and other information or links to third-party sites contained on this website are provided on an “as-is” basis, as general market commentary, and do not constitute investment advice. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, it would be considered as marketing communication under the relevant laws and regulations. Please ensure that you have read and understood our Notification on Non-Independent Investment. Research and Risk Warning concerning the foregoing information, which can be accessed here.

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. Read more or change your cookie settings.

Risk Warning: Your capital is at risk. Leveraged products may not be suitable for everyone. Please consider our Risk Disclosure.