Investors aren’t waiting around for Russia’s next move in Ukraine. They’re finding S&P 500 stocks they don’t want to own — and selling them.
Ten S&P 500 stocks, including communications services Paramount Global (PARA), materials firm Albemarle (ALB) and financial Fidelity National Information Services (FIS), are selling off the most — more than 8% — just this week, says an Investor’s Business Daily analysis of data from S&P Global Market Intelligence and MarketSmith.
Rising tensions in Russia this week, muddled by conflicting news reports about what’s going on there, are forcing S&P 500 investors to bail out. And that’s prompting big sell-offs in markets. Broad stocks fell in five in the past six trading days, says Wilshire Associates. That includes a 1.8% drop in the S&P 500 on Thursday.
“It’s no wonder investors don’t know which way to turn,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda.
Where The S&P 500 Is Hurting Most
It’s ugly out there. More than 60% of the stocks in the S&P 500 are down this week.
Energy, utilities and financial stocks are suffering the most this week among the 11 S&P 500 sectors. This is part of investors backing away from some of the sectors that had held up best this year so far.
The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) is down more than 2.8% this week. That’s the worst showing of any of the S&P 500 sectors. And that’s partly a deflation of a runaway gain this year so far. Even following this week’s sell-off, the sector is still up more than 23% this year.
Interestingly, though, not a single S&P 500 stock is down more than 8% in a week. Bigger individual stock losses are pounding companies in other sector.
Meanwhile, the Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) is off more than 2.2% this week. That pulls its year-to-date gain down to 0.5%. And Morgan Stanley (MS) is the hardest hit financial stock in the S&P 500, dropping 8.1% just this week (including a 4.9% hit just Thursday). It’s now down this year by 2%.
Hardest Hit S&P 500 Stocks This Week
|Company||symbol||% ch. this week||One-day % ch.||Sector|
|Paramount Global||PARA||-18.6%||-0.9%||Communications Services|
|Fidelity National Information||FIS||-12.8%||-2.8%||Information technology|
|Charles River Laboratories||CRL||-11.9%||-4.5%||Health Care|
|Bath & Body Works||BBWI||-9.0%||-5.9%||Consumer Discretionary|
|Tyler Technologies||TYL||-8.3%||-8.8%||Information technology|
|Bank of New York Mellon||BK||-8.0%||-8.2%||Financials|
Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence
What S&P 500 Investors Might Expect From Invasion
It’s important to note, though, that the S&P 500 tends to be highly resilient amid global conflicts. That’s once the initial shock wears off.
The S&P 500 dropped 1.1%, on average, on the first day following 22 major geopolitical events since Pearl Harbor in 1941, says data compiled by Sam Stovall at CFRA and Ryan Detrick at LPL Financial. And the S&P 500 suffered an average 4.6% drop until the market bottomed following the events. It usually took 20 days for the S&P 500 to finally bottom.
Some events are worse than others. The Sept. 11 Terrorist Attacks took the S&P 500 down nearly 12% until finally bottoming in 11 days. It took 31 days for the market to recover from the event that shook the world.
Recovery, though, comes in time. In the 22 past events, it took an average 43 days for the S&P 500 to come back. It’s still unclear what Russia has planned in the Ukraine, and what the US might do to respond. But S&P 500 investors at least know how the market tends to respond.
How S&P 500 Responded To Previous Conflicts
|Shock||Dated||One day return||Total sell off||Days to bottom||Days to recover|
|US pulls out of Afghanistan||8/30/2021||0.4%||-0.1%||1||3|
|Iranian general killed in airstrike||1/3/2020||-0.7%||-0.7%||1||5|
|Saudi Aramco drone strike||9/14/2019||-0.3%||-4.0%||19||41|
|North Korea missile crisis||7/28/2017||-0.1%||-1.5%||14||36|
|Bombing of Syria||4/7/2017||-0.1%||-1.2%||7||18|
|boston marathon bombing||4/15/2013||-2.3%||-3.0%||4||15|
|London subways bombing||5/7/2005||0.9%||0%||1||4|
|US terrorist attacks||9/11/2011||-4.9%||-11.6%||11||31|
|Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait||8/2/1990||-1.1%||-16.9%||71||189|
|yom kippur war||6/10/1973||0.3%||-0.6%||5||6|
|Six Day War||6/5/1967||-1.5%||-1.5%||1||2|
|Gulf of Tonkin Incident||8/2/1964||-0.2%||-2.2%||25||41|
|Cuban Missile Crisis||10/16/1962||-0.3%||-6.6%||8||18|
|N. Korea Invades S. Korea||6/25/1950||-5.4%||-12.9%||23||82|
|pearl harbor attack||7/12/1941||-3.8%||-19.8%||143||307|
Sources: CFRA, LPL Financial, S&P Global Market Intelligence
Follow Matt Krantz on Twitter @mattkrantz
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Market Sells Off On ‘Very High’ Risk Of Russia Invasion