From tech companies to banks to cruise-ship operators, virtually no corner of the U.S. stock market has been left untouched by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The reasons are numerous. Oil prices have surged, boosting energy companies while threatening to fuel inflation already at a four-decade high.
The conflict is casting uncertainty over the outlook for global economic growth even as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell says the bank is poised to start raising interest rates this month.
And volatility has surged as money-managers rush in and out of havens and industries like utilities and communication-service providers that are seen as relatively insulated from the latest risks.
“Anxiety is again rippling through global financial markets with the fear of stagflation taking hold, as the Ukraine conflict ratchets up inflationary pressures and threatens to derail global growth,” said Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.
One of the most volatile segments of the market has been tech stocks, whose valuations are highly sensitive to higher interest rates and which serve as a gauge of risk-taking sentiment.
The Nasdaq 100 Index’s average intraday swing over the last 30 days has climbed to nearly 3%, its highest since May 2020, early in the pandemic.
On Feb. 24, the index moved by more than twice that much — with a 7% swing that day — as news of Russia’s invasion was met by a wall of dip buyers.