Stock futures are little changed after Dow sinks to its lowest level of the year amid Ukraine crisis

U.S. stock futures were little changed Wednesday evening after the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at its lowest level of the year amid escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

Dow futures rose 0.08%, while futures tied to the S&P 500 were unchanged and Nasdaq 100 futures added 0.01%.

In the regular trading session, the Dow dropped about 464 points, or 1.3%. The S&P 500 fell 1.8%, moving deeper into correction and ending the day about 12% from its Jan. 3 record close. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 2.6%.

Investors continued to assess the potential outcome of the situation in Ukraine and what it could mean for markets, as the country warned its citizens in Russia to leave. Meanwhile, the U.S. said it will impose additional sanctions against Russia, and the U.K. said it’s ready to do the same.

However, some are beginning to shrug off Ukraine-related anxieties, noting that it’s not alone in contributing to the current market pulldown and won’t be the cause of much, if any, longer-term damage.

“So far, it looks like Ukraine is not the reason for the drop, despite the fears,” said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network. “So, if that is the case, future damage to the markets from the Ukraine crisis, if any, should be limited.”

What’s more likely pulling markets down is higher interest rates, he added, and that nevertheless, it’s important to consider the indirect impacts the Ukraine crisis could have on the market. Specifically, it could keep inflation higher than it might have been otherwise.

“Market volatility is normal, but the truth is that the decline we have seen so far is much less than might have been expected,” McMillan said. “That is due to the strength of the fundamentals, which should continue.”

In earnings, several big companies are scheduled to report Thursday. Anheuser-Busch, Alibaba, Discovery and Moderna will report before the opening bell. Coinbase, Block, Dell, Etsy and Beyond Meat are up after the close.

On the economic data front, investors are looking ahead to GDP and jobless claims before the opening bell and new home sales figures later in the morning Thursday.

Sophie Tremblay

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