December 19, 2014
Wall Street tumble on Ukraine tensions; Time Warner skids after-hours
US stocks ended down today, nose-diving in the afternoon as concerns mounted over escalating tensions in Ukraine.
All 10 S&P 500 sectors ended lower, led by energy stocks, which lost 2.1 percent.
Markets were weak for most of the session, but selling accelerated in the afternoon on reports that Russian troops were massing near the Ukraine border.
The S&P is down 3.4 percent from its record closing high of 1,987.98 points reached on July 24.
The energy index ended 2.1 percent lower, dragged down by concerns about oversupply of oil and disappointing results from Pioneer Natural Resources. Pioneer lost 5.6 percent and was the worst-performing S&P energy name.
Normally, tensions in oil-producing regions like Russia would boost the price of oil, but bigger worries about demand and poor margins overwhelmed those concerns.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 139.81 points, or 0.84 percent, to 16,429.47, the S&P 500 ended down 18.78 points, or 0.97 percent, to 1,920.21, and the Nasdaq Composite lost 31.05 points, or 0.71 percent, to 4,352.84.
European shares gained ground in a tentative rebound following last week's sharp sell-off, supported by forecast-beating results from blue-chips including Deutsche Post.
M&A fever also helped, with Vivendi surging 3.6 percent after Telefonica unveiled a 6.7 billion euro ($8.99 billion) offer for the French firm's Brazilian business GVT. Shares in Telefonica slipped 1.7 percent.
But despite the gains in core Europe, Southern European markets fell sharply, resuming last week's retreat as investors, rattled by the crisis at Portugal's Banco Espirito Santo , further reduced their exposure to the region.
Shares in Italian lenders Banco Popolare and Intesa SanPaolo lost 3.8 and 2.4 percent respectively, while Spain's Bankinter fell 4.3 percent.
Milan's FTSE MIB lost 1.6 percent and Madrid's IBEX fell 1.4 percent.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended 0.3 percent higher, at 1,334.59 points.
Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei share average fell to a 1-1/2-week low extending its declines into a fourth day after a survey showed China's services sector growth fell to a record low.
The market also looked for more earnings cues from Japanese companies such as Toyota Motor Corp. The Nikkei dropped 1.0 percent to close at 15,320.31, the lowest closing level since July 24. The broader Topix fell 1.0 percent to 1,263.53, and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 dropped 1.0 percent to 11,499.49.