US stock futures plunge as investors assess impact of latest Russian sanctions

U.S. stock index futures fell late on Sunday after President Vladimir Putin raised Russia’s nuclear alert level following scathing new sanctions from the West over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine .

Futures contracts Dow Jones Industrial Average YM00,
-1.46%
plunged around 500 points late on Sunday, while S&P 500 ES00 futures,
-2.27%
and Nasdaq-100 NQ00 futures,
-2.48%
fall even more abruptly.

Chaos is expected in Russian markets RU:MOEX
when they opened on Monday, after the United States and its allies pledged on Saturday to remove major Russian banks from the SWIFT interbank messaging network, cutting them off from the global financial network. Some pundits have speculated Russian bank runs as the ruble’s value falls against the US dollar USDRUB,
-0.60%.

Tensions between Russia and the West rose further on Sunday after it put Russian nuclear forces on red alert in response to what he called “aggressive statements” from NATO. Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces continued to resist Russian invaders and Ukraine agreed to meet with Russia in Belarus for talks, although hopes for a quick resolution to the conflict seemed dim.

Wall Street ended sharply higher on Friday on hopes of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine – although those hopes appeared to fade after the weekend. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
+2.51%
jumped 834.92 points, or 2.5%, to close at 34,058.75, with the blue-chip gauge posting its best daily gain since early November 2020. The S&P 500 SPX,
+2.24%
rose 95.95 points, or 2.2%, to end at 4,384.65. The Nasdaq COMP composite index,
+1.64%
added 221.04 points, or 1.6%, to finish at 13,694.62.

For the week, the Dow Jones fell less than 0.1% while the S&P 500 rose 0.8% and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.1%. The benchmark S&P 500 and Nasdaq indices erased losses from the start of the week.

Oil prices continued to rise on Sunday, with West Texas Intermediate crude CLJ22,
+5.44%
and Brent crude BRNJ22,
+5.16%,
the global benchmark, approaching $100 a barrel again.

Robert D. Coleman