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U.S. stocks open down as Russia launches attack on Ukraine

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down nearly 800 points, or 2.5 percent, hours after Putin announced the military action.

U.S. stocks plummeted at the market open on Thursday after Russia launched attacks on Ukraine from multiple fronts.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down more than 700 points, or 2.19 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite lost roughly 1.66 percent. And the S&P dropped 1.81 percent.

Oil prices increased more than 5 percent on news of the Russian attack. Brent crude opened at $104.23 per barrel on Thursday morning, surpassing $100 a barrel for the first time since 2014.

As President Joe Biden addressed the nation at midday, the Dow Jones was down roughly 500 points, a 1.5 percent drop. The S&P 500 was down about 20 points or 0.5 percent. The NASDAQ moved in the opposite direction, climbing 124 points. Brent crude fell back under $100 at $99.14.

The markets broadly rebounded at the close of the trading day with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq all settling in positive territory.

On the energy market, West Texas Intermediate crude and Brent crude closed out the day at $93.40 and $99.40, respectively.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the military action in a televised speech just before dawn in Moscow after weeks of tense buildup. The first blasts in Ukraine followed just minutes later.

Putin warned other countries that if they tried to intervene they would face a Russian response “so severe that no foreign nations have ever experienced it before.”

Image: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Feb. 18, 2022.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Brendan McDermid / Reuters

The broad offensive, which Kyiv said had already killed dozens of soldiers and several civilians, plunged Europe into one of its gravest security crises since World War II.

President Joe Biden reacted by announcing new sanctions against Russia.

“Tomorrow, I will be meeting with the Leaders of the G7, and the United States and our Allies and partners will be imposing severe sanctions on Russia,” he said. “We will continue to provide support and assistance to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.” 

A White House official said the sanctions would be significant new actions to punish Russia, but would not say that the U.S. would unload every financial penalty in its arsenal.

CORRECTION (Feb. 24, 2022, 11:15 a.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated the direction oil prices took on news of the Russian invasion. They increased, not dropped.