U.S. stocks fall on Ukraine fears; Dow ends down 0.85%


Investing.com -

Investing.com - U.S. stocks slid on Friday after tensions in Ukraine continued to escalate and steer investors away from stocks and into safe-haven positions such as the yen or gold.

At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow 30 fell 0.85%, the S&P 500index fell 0.81%, while the NASDAQ Composite index fell 1.75%.

Tensions in Ukraine continued to escalate on Friday after Ukrainian troops killed several pro-Russian rebels on Thursday.

Russian troops, meanwhile, conducted military drills close to the border between the two countries, which frayed nerves even more.

In response, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Washington was moving closer to slapping fresh sanctions on Moscow, which steered investors away from stocks and into safe-haven positions, the yen and gold especially.

Russia is the world's second largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia, and a halt in oil and gas exports to Europe could bruise the U.S., as many U.S. companies depend on Europe for healthy chunks of revenue.

Data out of the U.S. failed to offset geopolitical tensions in equities markets.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final April consumer sentiment index came in at 84.1, beating market expectations for a 83.0 reading. April's preliminary reading was 82.6.

On the earnings front, Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) reported earnings below expectations, while Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) said it was bracing for a loss in the current quarter.

Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX), meanwhile, released earnings that topped forecasts as did tech giant Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).

Visa Inc (NYSE:V) shares plunged after the company said U.S. sanctions on Russia were hurting its transaction volumes, adding revenues would suffer this quarter.

Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD), up 0.89%, Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO), up 0.75%, and General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), up 0.59%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included Visa Inc (NYSE:V), down 5.03%, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), down 1.81%, and Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), down 1.71%.

European indices, meanwhile, finished lower.

After the close of European trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 fell 1.30%, France's CAC 40 fell 0.80%, while Germany's DAX fell 1.54%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 fell 0.26%.

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This article appears in: Investing , Forex and Currencies

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