Dow loses 500 points, oil prices surge on Ukraine hysteria

Volatility brought more uncertainty to Wall Street, with the Dow diving more than 500 points and oil jumping as investors digested with worrisome signs reports that Russia could soon invade Ukraine and growing fears about inflation.

Despite a bullish start to the trading day, the three major U.S. indexes erased gains in the afternoon after White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan announced that there was a "distinct possibility" of military action within a "very swift time frame."

By the market close, the tech-heavy Nasdaq had crashed nearly 2.8 percent, or 394.49 points, to 13,791.15. The broader S&P 500 index shed 1.9 percent, or 85.44 points, to settle at 4,418.64. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 1.4 percent, or 503.53 points, to close at 34,737.

"The Russia-Ukraine tensions have hovered over already shaky investor sentiment. Investors have been counting on a diplomatic resolution, but recent developments indicate this may be wishful thinking and therefore, not fully priced into the markets," analysts reckon.

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