The stock market struggled out of the gate, as oil prices flirted with $130 per barrel in anticipation for the U.S. to ban energy imports from Russia. On a related note, the UK and EU said they would phase out their Russian energy imports this year, but the UK said it was still exploring options for a ban on gas imports.
Soon after President Biden announced the ban, stocks carved out a bottom and then rallied to session highs amid a report indicating that Ukraine was no longer insisting on NATO membership.
The S&P 500 went from a 0.7% intraday decline to a 1.8% intraday gain. Crude futures pared gains and settled at $123.76/bbl (+$4.49, +3.8%).
The rally off the lows was likely driven by short-covering activity from investors caught off guard by the market’s sell-the-rumor, buy-the-fact response. Unfortunately, the gains didn’t last long because the market turned negative after reports indicated that President Putin was going to ban the export of products and raw materials from the Russian Federation until Dec. 31.
The volatile price action frustrated investors, but at least the Treasury market communicated a more consistent message through its steady rise in yields. Namely, the Russia-Ukraine situation is expected to exacerbate inflation pressures via supply chain disruptions and, in turn, force the Fed to react with tighter monetary policy.
The 2-yr yield rose nine basis points to 1.63%, and the 10-yr yield rose 12 basis points to 1.87%. The U.S. Dollar Index decreased 0.2% to 99.06.