U.S. stock futures fell sharply early Thursday as Russia attacked Ukraine, sending indexes off 2% as the aggression sparked more unease on Wall Street.
Dow futures fell 810 points, or 2.4%, while futures tied to the S&P 500 were down 2.5% as well and pointing further into correction territory. Nasdaq 100 futures declined 3%, hovering around bear-market levels for the tech-focused index.
Oil prices popped as fighting commenced, with West Texas Intermediate futures trading 7.2% higher at just shy of $100 per barrel. Global benchmark Brent jumped 7.7% to $104.56 per barrel, passing the $100 level for the first time since 2014. Treasury yields tumbled, with the benchmark 10-year note declining to 1.86% as investors sought safe-haven bonds.
Bank stocks were among the big early losers, with Bank of America down 4% and Bank of New York Mellon slumping 6.3% in premarket trading. Economically sensitive companies also took a hit, with Deere and Delta Air off 5% and cruise line operator Carnival sliding 6.2%.
Energy companies surged amid the rising prices. Devon Energy was up 5% and Chevron rose 4.2%.
The VanEck Russia ETF, a U.S.-traded security which invests in top Russian companies, dropped nearly 25% in premarket trading on Thursday.
Those moves came as Moscow launched a military action in Ukraine. NBC News reported that explosions were heard in Kyiv.
President Joe Biden condemned the attack, saying in a statement that “the world hold Russia accountable.”
“Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way,” Biden said.
The news came after another downbeat market session on Wall Street, as traders grappled with the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.
In the Wednesday 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%.
Stocks have struggled recently, as the prospects of tighter Federal Reserve monetary policy have also dented investor sentiment.
The Ukraine situation has added to tensions for the market, which had been worried about tighter Federal Reserve policy amid escalating inflation. Traders have adjusted their views on the Fed in recent days, with the likelihood of a 0.5 percentage point interest rate hike in March down to 17%, according to CME Group data.
“With some signs of problematic wage-price dynamics emerging and near-term inflation expectations already high, further increases in commodity prices might be more worrisome than usual,” Goldman Sachs economists said in a note. “As a result, we do not expect geopolitical risk to stop the FOMC from hiking steadily by 25 [basis points] at its upcoming meetings, though we do think that geopolitical uncertainty further lowers the odds of a 50bp hike in March.”
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.
— CNBC’s Christine Wang contributed to this report.