Renewed concerns that tensions could flare between Russian and Ukraine pushed U.S. stocks sharply lower Tuesday.
The market had been moderately lower all day, weighed down by a disappointing earnings forecast from retail giant Target and a report on China that showed the world’s second-largest economy was slowing down.
The selling accelerated in afternoon trading. The Dow Jones industrial average fell nearly 200 points but recovered some of those losses in the last 30 minutes of trading.
Several traders pointed to news reports of a buildup of Russian troops on the Ukraine border and comments from a Polish politician that reportedly said Russia was poised to invade or pressure Ukraine’s eastern border as catalysts for the selling.
The Dow lost 139.81 points, or 0.8 percent, to 16,429.47, the lowest level for the index since May. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 18.78 points, or 1 percent, to 1,920.21 and the Nasdaq composite fell 31.05 points, or 0.7 percent, to 4,352.84.
Tuesday’s losses add to what has been a tough couple of weeks for U.S. markets. The S&P 500 fell 2.7 percent last week, its worst five-day performance since June 2012.
— Associated Press
A U.S. judge Tuesday reluctantly approved a $285 million fraud settlement between Citigroup and the Securities and Exchange Commission, two months after an appeals court voided his decision to reject it.
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff said he had little choice but to approve the deal, which did not require the bank to admit to any wrongdoing. But he said he feared the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit would rob such settlements of any “meaningful oversight.”
“That court has now fixed the menu, leaving this court with nothing but sour grapes,” he wrote in a brief opinion outlining his disappointment.
The 2nd Circuit in June ruled that Rakoff had abused his discretion in rebuffing the settlement in November 2011, finding that he had failed to give enough deference to the regulator.
Rakoff had objected to the SEC’s decades-old practice of letting some corporate defendants settle allegations without admitting or denying the charges, a decision credited with altering the public debate over such deals.
Last June, SEC Chair Mary Jo White, a former federal prosecutor, adopted a policy of requiring admissions in certain major cases, citing the need for more public accountability.
The SEC complaint against Citigroup concerned a 2007 sale of mortgage-linked securities debt that caused more than $700 million of investor losses.
● Apple has scheduled a “big” media event related to the iPhone for Sept. 9, technology news Web site Re/code said, without citing sources. Apple usually launches the newest version of its iPhone in September. The company did not immediately return e-mails seeking comment. Analysts and media reports have said Apple may launch two iPhone models with 4.7- and 5.5-inch screens.
● Capital One Financial said it received subpoenas from the New York district attorney’s office as part of a money-laundering probe. The request relates to “certain check-casher clients of the commercial-banking business,” the McLean, Va.-based firm said in a regulatory filing. Capital One said it’s cooperating with the investigation. Capital One is exiting the business of providing services to check cashers and related companies, said Tatiana Stead, a spokeswoman for the bank.
● Federal officials hope a massive effort to remove silt and sand deposits from the bed of the Mississippi River in Minnesota will have cleared a path for hundreds of tied-up barges carrying millions of dollars in cargo to resume their trips downstream during the weekend. Commercial barge traffic has been choked off for weeks by large sediment deposits in the Mississippi left behind by flooding from heavy spring and summer showers. Combined with a late thaw, it’s been “a perfect storm for the industry,” delaying shipments up and down one of the nation’s most important waterways, said Steve Tapp of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is leading the cleanup.
● U.S. services sector activity hit an 81 / 2-year high last month and factory orders surged in June, bolstering expectations of solid economic growth in the third quarter. The Institute for Supply Management said its services index rose to 58.7, the highest level since December 2005, from 56.0 in June, with new orders reaching their highest level since August 2005. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.
— From news services
● 8:30 a.m.: International trade data for June.
● Earnings: DISH Network, Mondelez International.