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Wall Street continues losing streak as US imposes Russia oil ban

Pedestrians walk past the New York Stock Exchange in New York's Financial District, on March 23, 2021. (AP/Mary Altaffer)
Pedestrians walk past the New York Stock Exchange in New York's Financial District, on March 23, 2021. (AP/Mary Altaffer)

US stocks continued to lose more ground today after US President Joe Biden imposed a ban on imports of Russian petroleum, and more major firms announced they were shutting operations in Russia.

The latest steps sent oil prices up another 4.6 percent, with Brent futures rising to $128.77 a barrel.

US gasoline prices at the pump hit a record not seen since the 2008 global financial crisis, and other commodities also continue to rise, fanning inflation in major economies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.6 percent to finish the session at 32,632.64, the lowest in nearly a year.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 0.7 percent to end at 4,170.7, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite lost 0.3 percent to 12,795.55.

It was a choppy day of trading, and Gregori Volokhine of Meeschaert Financial Services noted that shares jumped after Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said he is no longer pressing for NATO membership.

But “the market is so nervous that at the slightest positive or negative headline, it reacts to avoid being too exposed,” he told AFP. “Everyone tries to limit the risks.”

McDonald’s and Starbucks fell, but Coca-Cola gained 2.8 percent.

Oil companies continue to see share prices rise amid the prospects for higher prices, including solid gains for Chevron, Shell, and BP, and a more modest increase for Exxon Mobil.

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