Posted: Tuesday, August 5th 2014 at 4:15pm
Stock market losses steepen on Ukraine tensions; Dow down 160
By The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) -- The U.S. stock market turned sharply lower in afternoon trading Tuesday on concerns that tensions between Russia and Ukraine were heating up again. Energy stocks were among the biggest decliners, with companies such as Halliburton, Transocean and Devon Energy down more than 3 percent.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 160 points, or 1 percent, to 16,410 as of 3:04 p.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 20 points, or 1.1 percent, to 1,919 and the Nasdaq composite fell 38 points, or 0.9 percent, to 4,345.
UKRAINE WORRIES: The stock market had been lower all day, and the losses accelerated in early afternoon trading. Traders pointed to news reports of a buildup in Russian troops on the Ukraine border and comments from a Polish politician that said Russia is poised to invade or pressure militarily Ukraine's eastern border.
The developments come after the most recent round of sanctions imposed on Russia by the U.S. and Europe. Russia has reportedly called for a meeting of the U.N. Security Council.
NO RECOVERY: Stocks have been unable to recover their losses from last week, when the S&P 500 fell 2.7 percent, its worst week since June 2012. The market rose modestly on Monday.
"The sellers are giving the market a chance to breathe after last week, but the buyers aren't there to step in and buy on these dips," said Ian Winer, director of trading at Wedbush Morgan Securities.
Last week's sell-off was caused by a variety of factors, including the near-failure of a Portuguese bank, Argentina defaulting on its bonds and the ongoing tension between the U.S., Europe and Russia over Ukraine. Strategists say investors are in a wait-and-see mode.
"Once these geopolitical issues calm down, we should move higher from here," said Randy Frederick, a managing director at Charles Schwab.
DATA DU JOUR: Investors were setting aside two positive reports on the U.S. economy. The Institute for Supply Management said the U.S. services sector expanded in July more than expected. The ISM survey came in at 58.7 versus the 56.5 economists had predicted. June factory orders also rose more than expected, rising 1.1 percent compared to the 0.6 percent increase economists were looking for.
NO SALE: Target dropped $2.80, or 5 percent, to $57.92 after the company lowered its second-quarter earnings forecast. Target said the massive data breach the company experienced last year was costing far more than previously expected. Shoppers remain cautious about shopping at the store, Target said.
CURRENCIES, COMMODITIES, AND BONDS: The dollar rose to 102.75 yen and the euro dipped to $1.3365. Crude oil fell 88 cents to $97.41 a barrel. Gold fell $2.20 to $1,286.70 an ounce and silver fell 37 cents to $19.86 an ounce. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was unchanged from the day before at 2.48 percent.
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