Geopolitical tensions keep Wall Street on edge

NEW YORK, New York — U.S. stocks were mixed on Monday as fears grew of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

"Stocks have been premium-priced for quite some time and a mixture of rising interest rates, military threats and the highest rate of inflation since 1980 makes a modest baby bear move in stocks likely in the near term," Reuters quoted George Ball, chairman of wealth manager Sanders Morris Harris. saying in a note.

The Dow Jones industrials dropped 171.89 points or 0.49 percent to 34,566.17.

The Standard and Poor’s 500 declined 16.97 points or 0.38 percent to 4,401.67.

The Nasdaq Composite was virtually unchanged, inching down 0.24 of a single point to 13,790.92.

The U.S. dollar was stronger. The euro wilted to 1.1294 by the New York close Monday. The British pound dipped to 1.3529. The Japanese yen was little changed at 115.56, as was the Swiss franc t 0.9254.

The Canadian dollar traded in a tight range around 1.2724. The Australian dollar slipped to .07125. The New Zealand dollar weakened to 0.6612.

In overseas markets, the Dax in Germany lost 2.02 percent. The Paris-based CAC 40 was off 2.27 percent. In London, the FTSE 100 shed 1.69 percent.

Stocks in Asia fell sharply on Monday. The only beacon of light was the Australian market, where the All Ordinaries made a gain of 10.30 points or 0.26 percent to close Monday at 7,535.10.

Across the Tasman, in New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 tumbled 223.64 points or 1.84 percent to 11,950.14.

The biggest damage came in Tokyo, where the Nikkei 225 shed 616.49 points or 2.23 percent to 27,079.59.

The Kospi Composite in Seoul, South Korea lost 41.78 points or 1.52 percent to 2,705.93.

China’s Shanghai Composite lost 34.07 points or 0.98 percent, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng declined 350.09 points or 1.41 percent to 24,556.57.