S&P 500 Off Lows as White House Downplays Report Putin Has Made Ukraine Decision By Investing.com

© Reuters

By Yasin Ebrahim

Investing.com – – The S&P 500 moved off the lows Friday, but remained under pressure after US National Security Jake Sullivan poured cold water on a report that Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the go-ahead to military officials to invade Ukraine, though he reiterated that an invasion could occur at any time.

The fell 1.5%, the lost 1.2%, or 341 points, the fell 2.3%.

Sullivan told reporters on Friday that the US is not claiming that Putin has made a final decision to invade Ukraine.

“We are not saying that a decision has been taken a final decision has been taken by President Putin … what we are saying is that we have a sufficient level of concern based on what we are seeing on the ground [at the Ukraine border],” Sullivan said.

The national security advisor, however, emphasized the elevated threat of a Ukraine invasion that could begin “any day now,” as Russia had all the forces at the border that it needs to conduct a major military action.

An earlier report from PBS suggested that the Russian president had instructed his military to move ahead with the Ukraine invasion.

The US believes Putin has decided to invade Ukraine and communicated those plans to the Russian military, PBS reported Friday. Two administration officials were said to expect the invasion to begin next week.

The report of a decision from Putin arrived just after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Russia had beefed up its forces at the border with Ukraine and could launch an invasion at any time.

Investors opted for safety, piling into US bonds pushing yields lower, with the US 10-year yield retreating below 2%.

Defense stocks, meanwhile, including Lockheed Martin (NYSE:), and Northrop Grumman (NYSE:) were higher.

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