NATIONAL NEWS

Stocks tumble as war overshadows ‘fantastic’ US jobs data

Mar 4, 2022, 2:55 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 3:38 pm
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on March 04, 2022 in New York City....
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on March 04, 2022 in New York City. The Dow fell over 300 points in morning trading despite a positive jobs report as the war in Ukraine continues to worry investors. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks around the world racked up more losses Friday, as even a gangbusters report on the U.S. jobs market can’t pull Wall Street’s focus off its worries about the war in Ukraine.

The S&P 500 fell 0.8% and posted its third weekly loss in the last four. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.5% and the Nasdaq composite ended 1.7% lower.

The declines for U.S. stock indexes followed sharper losses in Europe after a fire at the continent’s largest nuclear plant caused by shelling raised worries about what’s next. Markets worldwide have swung wildly over the last week on worries about how high prices for oil, wheat and other commodities produced in the region will go because of Russia’s invasion, inflaming the world’s already high inflation.

Treasury yields sank again as investors moved money into U.S. government bonds in search of safety, and a measure of nervousness on Wall Street climbed.

All the movements came despite a much stronger report on U.S. jobs than economists expected, one described as encouraging and even “fantastic.” Hiring by employers last month topped expectations by hundreds of thousands of workers, more people came back into the workforce after sitting on the sidelines and jobs numbers for prior months were revised higher.

On the inflation front, growth in wages for workers was slower last month than economists expected. While that’s discouraging for workers hoping to keep up with rising prices at the grocery store, for economists and investors, it means less risk the economy may be headed for what’s called a “wage-price spiral.” In such a reinforcing cycle, higher wages for workers would cause companies to raise their own prices even higher.

“The COVID recovery was in full bloom in the jobs report,” said Brian Jacobsen, senior investment strategist at Allspring Global Investments.

“The tricky part is the future, not the past,” he said, as U.S. crude oil prices climbed above $115 per barrel amid worries about pressure on supplies because of the Ukrainian war. “Higher fuel and food costs can eat into consumers’ budgets. Those high costs can be a boon for oil producers and farmers, but not for everyone else.”

Such concerns helped drag stocks sharply lower in the early going, though the indexes pared their losses by the end of the day. The S&P 500 fell 34.62 points to 4,328.87, and is now down just under 10% from its record set early this year.

The Dow, which slid initially more than 500 points, ended down 179.86 points to 33,614.80. The Nasdaq fell 224.50 points to 13,313.44.

Smaller company stocks also fell. The Russell 2000 index dropped 31.51 points, or 1.6%, to 2,000.90.

In the benchmark S&P 500, more than 60% of stocks fell, with technology and financial companies weighing down the index the most. Apple fell 1.8% and JPMorgan Chase slid 2.8%. Among the gainers were utilities, health care stocks and companies that can benefit from higher oil prices. Occidental Petroleum vaulted 17.6% for the biggest gain in the index.

In Europe, whose economy is much more closely tied to the conflict because of its dependence on oil and natural gas from the region, the losses were sharper. France’s CAC 40 fell 5%, Germany’s DAX lost 4.4% and the FTSE 100 in London fell 3.5%.

Russian forces gained ground, shelling Europe’s largest nuclear power plant and causing a fire early Friday as they pressed their attack on a crucial energy-producing Ukrainian city. Authorities said the blaze was safely extinguished. U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm tweeted that the Zaporizhzhia plant’s reactors were protected by robust containment structures and were being safely shut down.

Trading on the Moscow exchange, after briefly opening Monday, has remained closed throughout the week. The value of Russia’s ruble continues to hover below a penny after plunging roughly 30% since the middle of last week. It now takes roughly 104 rubles to get a dollar, up from fewer than 75 at the start of the year. The ruble has dropped as Western governments imposed sanctions that cut off much of Russia’s access to the global financial system.

The price of U.S. oil jumped 7.4% to $115.68 per barrel, the highest since August 2008. In July of that year, the price per barrel of U.S. crude climbed to an all-time high $145.29, pushing up the average price for gasoline above $4 a gallon.

Brent crude, the international standard, climbed 6.9% to $118.11 per barrel Friday.

“I don’t think the elevated commodity prices are behind us by any means,” said Megan Horneman, chief investment officer at Verdence Capital Advisors. “As energy prices continue to rise, eventually there could be some demand destruction that will result in some peaking in the price and possibly some decline in the price of oil.”

Amid the rush to safety, the yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.74% from 1.84% late Thursday, a big move. It’s well below the 2% level it had reached last month, as expectations built for upcoming hikes in interest rates by the Federal Reserve to rein in inflation.

Stocks had rallied in the middle of the week after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said he favored a more modest increase to interest rates later this month than some investors had feared. The Fed is set to raise rates for the first time since 2018, though it has a tightrope walk ahead because too-high rates can choke the economy and cause a recession.

Powell warned Thursday that the fighting in Ukraine is likely to further magnify the high inflation troubling world economies. Russia is a key oil producer and prices have been rising as global supplies are threatened by the conflict.

___

AP Business Writer Elaine Kurtenbach contributed. Veiga reported from Los Angeles.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hea...
SAM METZ, ASSOCIATED PRESS

‘Mitt Romney Republican’ is now a potent GOP primary attack

Mitt Romney isn't up for reelection this year. But Trump-aligned Republicans hostile toward the Utah senator have made his name a recurring theme in this year's primaries, using him as a foil and derisively branding their rivals “Mitt Romney Republicans."
11 hours ago
FILE PHOTO (Deseret News)...
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Police: 5-month-old girl in car fatally shot in Chicago

A 5-month-old girl was shot to death while in the rear of a car in a neighborhood on Chicago's South Side.
11 hours ago
FILE: WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 06: U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) speaks as (L-R) Sen. Ted Cruz (R...
SEAN MURPHY, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Senator in 2010 deposition: 13-year-olds can consent to sex

Before he became a leading voice for conservative causes on Capitol Hill, U.S. Senator James Lankford spent more than a decade as the director of youth programming at the Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center, a sprawling campground about 80 miles south of Oklahoma City that attracts more than 50,000 campers in grades six through 12 each year.
11 hours ago
FILE -- Grad student creates 3D campus for master's project. Scott G Winterton, Deseret News...
David Sharp, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Religious schools may face another hurdle to state tuition

Religious schools got what they wanted when the Supreme Court allowed them to participate in a state tuition program.
11 hours ago
Bodycam footage from the Moab Police Department that shows them talking with Brian Laundrie is seen...
Jamiel Lynch and Chenelle Woody, CNN

Lawyer releases pages from Brian Laundrie’s notebook in which he admits to killing Gabby Petito

The attorney for the family of Brian Laundrie on Friday released eight pages from Laundrie's notebook that was found near his remains in Florida in October last year, according to a news release obtained by CNN affiliate WINK.
11 hours ago
Authorities stand guard by a fence outside the Supreme Court following Supreme Court's decision to ...
DÁNICA COTO and CARA ANNA Associated Press

US abortion ruling sparks global debate, polarizes activists

The end of constitutional protections for abortions in the United States has pemboldened abortion opponents around the world, while advocates of abortion rights worry the Supreme Court ruling could threaten recent moves toward legalization in their countries.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Stocks tumble as war overshadows ‘fantastic’ US jobs data