Stocks try for afternoon rally as Russia, not the US, faces isolation


After opening lower and falling until mid-morning, stock prices are now rising, having come within 0.1% of breakeven on the NASDAQ and 0.2% of breakeven on the S&P 500. On a day when beyond-the-market news has dominated market trading, the reason appears to be the growing number of voices from around the world echoing the sentiments of the US over the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 over Eastern Ukraine on Thursday of last week.

That position was expressed in no uncertain terms by Secretary of State John Kerry, as he made the rounds on the Sunday talk shows: "The president imposed a greater cost on Vladimir Putin the day before this shoot-down took place, and what we are doing now is trying to bring our European counterparts along." That may become easier in the coming days, as shock in the Netherlands turns to rage, as it invariably does in situations such as this. At least 173 of the 298 victims were Dutch nationals.

Despite strong trading ties with Russia, it appears increasingly likely that Europe will now follow the U.S. in implementing sanctions against Russia. As for Russia, Bloomberg is reporting that Russia's richest businessmen are in "horror" at the risk of isolation Putin is incurring. By early afternoon on Monday, Russia's defenders were down to Putin, China , and Ron Paul . The market is likely responding happily to the generally anti-Russian world mood as it means that the next round of sanctions against Russia will not necessarily come from America. If Europe shares the economic burden of sanctions, it will be better for US companies.

Putin spoke about the crash on Sunday, in a video on the Kremlin's website saying, "Nobody should and no one has the right to use this tragedy to achieve selfish political aims. Such events should unite, not divide people." Putin's remarks have not been warmly received.

Julian Close has been a business writer since the first day of the twenty-first century, having written for PRA International and the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping. He graduated from Davidson College in 1993 and received a Master of Arts in Teaching from Mary Baldwin College in 2011. He became a stockbroker in 1993, but now works for Fresh Brewed Media and uses his powers only for good. You can see closing trades for all Julian's long and short positions and track his long term performance via twitter: @JulianClose_MIC .

This article was originally published on

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

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