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Dow falls 797 points as oil prices soar amid Russia-Ukraine war

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Dow falls 797 points as oil prices soar amid Russia-Ukraine war
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 797 points as oil prices rose to their highest levels since 2008 amid the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

March 7 (UPI) -- U.S. markets tumbled Monday as investors expressed fear of rising energy prices as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the day down 797.42 points, or 2.37%, while the S&P 500 dropped 2.95% and the Nasdaq Composite declined 3.26%.

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West Texas Intermediate crude futures, the U.S. oil benchmark, rose to $130 per barrel -- their highest level since 2008 -- before settling up about 3.5% at around $119 per barrel, while Brent crude, the international benchmark, also hit its highest level since 2008 at $139.13 per barrel before receding to about $123.

Gasoline prices rose by 45 cents in the past week to a national average of $4.06, while the price of diesel fuel hit $4.61, according to AAA.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Sunday said the chamber was considering a ban on the import of Russian oil in response to the invasion and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said the Biden administration was weighing an oil ban.

The rising oil prices were a boon for energy stocks as Chevron grew 2.14%, Exxon Mobil gained 3.6% and Baker Hughes rose 4.7%.

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Consumer stocks, however, took a hit as Starbucks dropped 6.19%, Nike fell 5.16% and McDonald's slid 4.86% amid concerns high gas prices could lead Americans to tighten their wallets.

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Bank stocks were also on the decline as investors worried about slowing economic growth with U.S. Bancorp dropping 3.93% and Citigroup falling 1.84%.

Monday's declines leave the S&P 12% down from its record close as it fell deeper into correction territory, while the Nasdaq is in bear market territory, more than 20% below its all-time record close.

UBS strategist Stuart Kaiser told Yahoo Finance that the declines in stocks due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict do not represent a particularly attractive opportunity to buy stocks at lower prices.

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"We are definitely not buyers of the dip at this point," Kaiser warned. "For perspective, we were worried about the first half of this year before the Russia-Ukraine conflict even started just based on the Fed and the growth in inflation dynamics. The geopolitical stuff just reinforces that."

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