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U.S. stocks fall after White House warns of Russian invasion

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Traders work on the floor of the NYSE before the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street in New York City on January 25. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/985761141e0ddc52b6304c293e200b0d/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Traders work on the floor of the NYSE before the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street in New York City on January 25. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 11 (UPI) -- All three major stock indexes fell Friday as financial experts warned of "shaky investor sentiment" after the White House said Russia could invade Ukraine before the end of the Winter Olympics.

The Dow was down 1.43% after falling 503 points on Friday while the S&P 500 fell 1.9% and the Nasdaq fell 2.78%. National security adviser Jake Sullivan had warned before market close that Russia could launch an invasion of Ukraine before the Winter Olympics conclude in Beijing.

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John Lynch, chief investment officer at Comerica Wealth Management, said in a note obtained by Markets Insider that "the Russia-Ukraine tensions have hovered over already shaky investor sentiment."

"Should an invasion occur, we expect a significant bid for U.S. Treasuries -- putting demand for yield in direct conflict with the [Federal Reserve's] intentions," Lynch said.

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He added that an invasion of Ukraine might accelerate prices for commodities such as oil and gold, which Morningstar notes is "one of the asset classes that is most positively correlated with inflation."

Cliff Hodge, chief investment officer for Cornerstone Wealth, told Kiplinger on Friday that the news about Ukraine "delivered another body-blow to markets, which were already reeling from stubborn inflation numbers and uber hawkish comments from Fed officials."

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Edward Moya, senior market analyst with OANDA, said on Friday that the immediate reaction after the Ukraine news was "soaring energy prices and a flight to safety that saw treasury yields tumble and U.S. stocks selloff."

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"Stock traders quickly hit the 'sell button' after reports that the U.S. expects Russia to move forward with invading Ukraine," he said. "A period of calm was somewhat expected regarding the Ukraine situation but that does not seem to be the case anymore."

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