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Dow climbs and S&P 500 regains footing at 4,300 as Moscow said to agree to talks with Ukraine

U.S. stock benchmarks gained traction higher Friday morning, though the Nasdaq Composite wobbled early, as reports indicated that Russia was in favor of talks with Ukrainian leadership.

However, Russian troops were pressing toward the capital of Ukraine, with reports indicating that Kyiv was under fire.

How are stock indexes trading

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, 1.76% gained 283 points, or 0.9%, at 33,520.

  • The S&P 500 SPX, 1.49% traded 36 points, or 0.9%, higher at about 4,325.

  • The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, 0.77% traded 22 points, or 0.1%, to 13,487, amid up-and-down trade.

  • For the week, the Dow was on track for a 1.5% decline, the S&P 500 was looking at a 0.6% weekly skid, while the Nasdaq Composite was on track for a 0.5% decline.

On Thursday, the Dow snapped a five-session losing streak, closing up 92.07 points, or 0.3%, at 33,223.83, after falling as far as 2.6% in morning trading. The S&P 500 climbed 63.2 points, or 1.5%, finishing at 4,288.70, but in correction territory, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 436.1 points, or 3.3%, ending at 13,473.59, but bouncing off a session low at 12,587.88.

What’s driving the market

Stocks were gaining altitude on the back of news reports, citing a summary of a call between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping provided by China’s Foreign Ministry, which said Russia was ready to conduct negotiations with Ukraine.

The reports come as Russian forces were closing in on Ukrainian capital Kyiv, which had been under fire earlier Friday.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced a new wave of sanctions against Russia, in an attempt to isolate Moscow from the global economy. The White House also authorized more U.S. troops to be stationed in Germany. But the U.S. and its allies spared Russia’s oil exports and avoided blocking access to the Swift global payment network.

“The latest Western sanctions on Russia will hit its economy hard through tighter financial conditions and reduced trade, and might plausibly hit GDP by 1-2%-pts,” William Jackson, Chief Emerging Markets Economist, at Capital Economics wrote in note. “But sanctions stopped short of the more damaging scenario – both for Russia and Europe – in which Russia’s energy exports are targeted. For most countries, the main economic impact of the crisis will come through higher commodity prices and the impact on inflation.”

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