US STOCKS-Wall St tumbles on Ukraine-Russia tension; fear index surges

lunes 3 de marzo de 2014 16:23 GYT

* Russian stock market, bonds and currency plunge

* Crude prices up more than 2 percent

* CBOE Volatility index VIX jumps more than 14 pct

* Dow down 1.1 pct; S&P 500 off 0.9 pct; Nasdaq off 0.9 pct

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK, March 3 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks sold off on Monday alongside other risky assets globally as Ukraine and Russia prepared for possible war after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared he had the right to invade his neighbor.

Ukraine mobilized for war on Sunday and Washington threatened to isolate Russia economically as Moscow's biggest confrontation with the West since the Cold War unfolded.

The S&P 500 had closed at a record high on Friday, and profit-taking was expected on Wall Street due to the political uncertainty. The index found some support when it fell to 1,840, but broke below it after the first attempt. The S&P 500 extended losses in early afternoon trading but then recovered slightly to hover near the support level.

"It's too early to tell whether this would be an buying opportunity because we need to see how this (tension between Ukraine and Russia) plays out. It depends on how far this escalates but I would suggest hedging before making any bets at this point," said Randy Frederick, managing director of active trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.   Continuación...