(Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks sank, tracking a global selloff in equities, as investors sought havens on concern that Russia’s military presence in Ukraine could lead to a larger conflict.
General Electric Co. and 3M Co. each plunged 1.8 percent to pace declines among large industrial shares. Financial shares tumbled, as Visa Inc. and American Express Co. slid at least 1.9 percent. The Market Vectors Russia ETF tracking companies from Gazprom OAO to OAO Lukoil dropped 8.5 percent. Yandex NV, a U.S.-listed online search engine operating in Russia, slumped 14 percent. Newmont Mining Corp., the largest U.S. gold producer, jumped 2.7 percent.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 1.1 percent, the most in a month, to 1,829.06 at 11:47 a.m. in New York. The gauge closed at a record on Feb. 28. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 203.22 points, or 1.3 percent, to 16,118.49. Trading in S&P 500 stocks was 4.1 percent below the 30-day average at this time of day.
“Global markets typically sell off on news of an escalated geopolitical crisis like we’re seeing in Ukraine; how deep it goes depends on the effectiveness of diplomacy,” Frederic Dickson, chief investment strategist who helps oversee $44.5 billion at D.A. Davidson & Co. in Lake Oswego, Oregon, said in a telephone interview. “We’re in a camp that this is not a black swan event that will mark the end of the five year bull market for stocks in the U.S. and globally, but a modest correction event.”
The tensions sent stocks tumbling around the world, with the MSCI All-Country World Index sliding 1.4 percent. Russian stocks had their biggest decline in five years and the Europe Stoxx 600 plunged 2.3 percent, its biggest slide in five weeks. Emerging-market stocks dropped 1.7 percent. Gold soared 2.4 percent and Treasuries rallied.