By Yasin Ebrahim
Investing.com – The S&P 500 fell on Monday, after swinging between gains and losses as investors grappled with reports suggesting an imminent Russian attack on Ukraine was on the horizon as hopes mounted that Moscow was open to a diplomatic resolution.
fell 0.42%, the fell 0.49%, or 171 points, the flat ended.
Fears of an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine were stoked earlier today by a Facebook post from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy saying Ukraine “has been informed” that Wednesday will be the day of the attack.
Zelenskyy’s comments were later said to have been sarcastic, but that sentiment got lost in the English translation of the text, according to media reports, at a time when Russian-Ukrainian tensions remain high.
CBS reported that Russia had advanced its troops into positions to launch an attack.
In response to rising tensions, the US State Department has moved its embassy staff from Kyiv to Lviv, amid a “dramatic acceleration in the build-up of Russian forces”, the Secretary of State announced on Monday. Anthony Blinken.
The report came after Moscow indicated it was open to continuing talks to find a solution to de-escalating tensions on the Ukrainian border.
Russian President Vladimir Putin previously signaled his support for Russia to continue talks with the United States and its allies after his Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called the proposals presented by Washington “constructive”.
The United States rejected Russia’s blanket request to guarantee that NATO would not allow Ukraine membership, but offered to discuss limits on missile deployments in Europe and restrictions on military exercises.
Oil prices, which served as a barometer of tensions on the Ukrainian border given the prospect of possible supply disruptions, rose sharply. The sharp rise in oil prices did not prevent a drop of more than 2% in energy stocks.
APA (NASDAQ:), Marathon Oil (NYSE:) and Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:) led the declines.
Technology outperformed on the day, supported by rising semiconductor stocks.
Micron Technology (NASDAQ:) and Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:) led gains up more than 2% and 3% respectively, with the latter announcing the completion of its $50 billion acquisition of Xilinx (NASDAQ:).
Splunk (NASDAQ:), meanwhile, jumped more than 9% after receiving a $20 billion takeover bid from Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:).
Sentiment on electric vehicle stocks improved after Soros Fund Management said it bought nearly 20 million shares of electric vehicle maker Rivian in the fourth quarter of the year.
Rivian Automotive (NASDAQ:) was up 6%, Tesla (NASDAQ:) gained about 2% and Nikola (NASDAQ:) added 3%.
Health care stocks also weighed on the market, weighed down by weakness in vaccine makers as investors head for the exit on fears that the drop in Covid-19 cases could reduce demand for coronavirus vaccines. . Inflows into health care funds have slowed to around $800 million per month from a peak of $5 billion per month in early 2020, Bloomberg reports.
Novavax (NASDAQ:), Modern (NASDAQ:), and Pfizer (NYSE:) were nursing losses.
In other news, Peloton Interactive (NASDAQ:) gave up some of its recent gains after connected fitness equipment company CEO Barry McCarthy in an interview with the Financial Times downplayed the prospect of sell the business.