Markets swung wildly on Thursday as the world reacted to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Stocks in Europe fell sharply, while stocks in the U.S. recovered from early losses after President Joe Biden stopped short of implementing the steepest possible sanctions against Russia.
The S&P 500 rallied 1.5% after erasing an early 2.6% loss, while the Nasdaq staged an even bigger comeback to end with a gain of more than 3%. The heaviest losses hit stocks in Europe, where officials called Russia’s actions a “brutal act of war,” with the German DAX down 4%. Prices for oil and other commodities rose sharply, raising inflation fears, before falling back a bit.
U.S. markets opened dramatically lower earlier on Thursday over fears of how Russia's invasion of Ukraine could impact the global economy. The Dow Jones lost more than 300 points upon its open Thursday morning before later regaining some of those losses. The S&P 500 was down about 1.3% as of 10:30 a.m. ET and the Nasdaq had lost about 0.7%.
The Wall Street losses reflect losses in global markets earlier Thursday. According to CNN, Russia's main market index dropped as much as 45% Thursday before recovering some losses. Europe's largest markets saw losses between 3% and 5%.
Russia's currency, the ruble, also sank 7.5% against the U.S. dollar. Brent crude oil jumped to over $100 per barrel on unease about possible disruption of Russian supplies. Russia and Ukraine are both top exporters of crude oil.
The European Union said it planned "massive and targeted" sanctions on Russia. U.S. President Joe Biden has also promised to increase sanctions against Russia.
Surging prices for oil and other commodities are an added worry for investors already uneasy about the possible impact of the Federal Reserve's plans to raise key interest rates in an attempt to cool inflation.