S&P 500 Struggles for Direction as U.S. Unveils Ban on Russia Energy

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Investing.com — The S&P 500 turned positive Tuesday, but market moves were volatile as investors weighed up the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict in the wake of the U.S. announcing a ban on imports of Russian energy.

The S&P 500 rose 0.72%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.78%, or 267 points, the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.2%.

“We’re banning all imports of Russian oil and gas and energy,” President Joe Biden said Tuesday. “That means Russian oil will no longer be acceptable at U.S. ports…”  The embargo will ban new shipments of Russian oil, liquefied natural gas and coal imports to the U.S. 

Oil prices jumped sharply, pushing U.S. gas prices to record highs and exacerbated concerns that inflation pressures will remain elevated and dent economic growth.

The 10-year TIPS breakeven rate rose to 2.876%, pointing to bets on inflation averaging 2.9% a year for the next decade.

Industrials, meanwhile, were led higher by surge in Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) and rebound in airline stocks.

Caterpillar jumped more than 7% after Jefferies upgraded its rating on the industrial equipment maker to buy from hold and raised its price target to $260 from $215, as the stock has historically been a strong inflation hedge.

Airline stocks, which have come under pressure amid concerns about rising jet fuel costs, rebounded from a slump a day earlier.

American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL), United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL), Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) were up more than 5%.

Technology stocks rebounded as recent slump in tech attracted dip-buying, with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) turning positive. 

At its product launch event, Apple rolled out a new budget iPhone, an update to the iPad Air and an updated Mac chip, which will used in the new Mac Studio computer. Wedbush has estimated the new budget iPhone could rack up 30 million sales over the next year. 

Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) rose nearly 2% after agreeing to buy cybersecurity firm Mandiant in a deal worth $5.4 billion. The acquisition is expected to bolster cybersecurity for Google’s cloud customers.

On the earnings front, Dick’s Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS) reported quarter-results that beat on both the top and bottom lines, sending its shares more than 5% higher.

In other news, Dish Network rallied 7% after UBS upgraded the stock to buy from neutral on expectation that the company’s spectrum assets are undervalued.

“Questions remain regarding DISH’s wireless business model, but we believe DISH’s network build protects the company’s spectrum licenses, whose value serves as a backstop,” UBS said.