Russian Invasion Sparks Stock Selloff, Oil and Gas Jump on Supply Worries

The broad selloff in stocks accelerated, adding to last week’s losses, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine injected fresh uncertainty into markets already under pressure from the threat of rising interest rates.

Key Takeaways

  • The broad selloff in stocks accelerated, adding to last week’s losses, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine injected fresh uncertainty into markets.
  • Gas and oil prices jumped on supply concerns; Germany halted progress on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline.
  • Shares of Home Depot slumped on its growth outlook, while Kraft Heinz gained after boosting long-term financial targets.

The geopolitical tensions are sending fuel prices higher, which, in turn, is boosting shares of Chevron Corp. (CVX) and other energy companies. Oil hit $96 a barrel and natural gas prices rose after Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz stopped progress on a pipeline project that would deliver natural gas directly from Russia to Germany (more below).

Shares of Kraft Heinz Co. (KHC) are rising as the food company increased its long-term financial targets. Home Depot Inc. (HD) is the worst-performing stock in the Dow and S&P 500 after the home improvement retailer predicted just moderate growth in 2022 (more below). Shares of Nike Inc. (NKE) are falling as well as Walmart Inc. (WMT) and other retailers.

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Shares of Ford Motor Co. (F), General Motors Corp. (GM), and Tesla Inc. (TSLA) are declining after Volkswagen announced it’s in talks to spin off Porsche in order to better compete in the electric vehicle market.  

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note is up to 1.94%. Most major cryptocurrencies are extending last week’s retreat, with the price of Bitcoin falling about 3%. 

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Chart of the Day: Fuel Flying High

Energy prices are moving higher following Russia’s moves against Ukraine and the reaction by Western nations to the escalating crisis. 

The FHFA released its latest House Price Index. The report showed the price of U.S. houses increased 17.5% from Q4 2020 to Q4 2021. Arizona saw the largest increase of all fifty states, with prices in that region rising an astounding 27.4%.

The price of Brent crude oil neared $100 a barrel earlier in the day before finishing at $96.56. Futures for West Texas Intermediate crude oil and gasoline are up 2%, while the price of natural gas is rising 3%. The gains are coming as the U.S., EU, and U.K. all announced sanctions against Russia after Moscow recognized two regions of Ukraine as independent republics. 

In what might be the strongest response yet, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz halted certification of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project that would deliver natural gas directly from Russia to Germany. 

President Biden has signed an executive order expanding sanctions implemented after Russia invaded Crimea in 2014. It also prohibits U.S. investment, imports and exports, and certain financial and property transactions in the breakaway regions. 

The EU and U.K. have targeted banks and Russian individuals, and have threatened harsher measures if Russia continued to push into Ukraine.

Stock of the Day: Home Depot (HD)

Home Depot said the boom in demand for home improvement products that occurred during the COVID-19 lockdowns continued through last year, although it only anticipates modest growth in 2022. Shares fell on the news.  

Home Depot reported fourth quarter sales rose 10.7% to $35.7 billion, with earnings per share (EPS) of $3.21. Both were better than analysts’ forecasts. Comparable store sales were up 8.1%, well above estimates. U.S. comparable store sales increased 7.6%.  

Customer transactions fell 3.4% to 402.5 million, but on average shoppers spent $85.11 per ticket, a gain of 12.4%. Home Depot also announced it’s boosting its quarterly dividend by $0.25 to $1.90 per share.

Full-Year Guidance

The largest home improvement retailer indicated it anticipates full-year revenue and comparable sales growth to be “slightly positive.” It expects EPS to rise by a low single-digit percentage.

The cautious guidance is sending shares of Home Depot down 8% today. They’ve lost almost a quarter of their value since hitting an all-time high in early December.