March 8 (UPI) — U.S. markets closed the day with losses Tuesday giving up earlier gains after President Joe Biden announced a ban on Russian oil imports.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 184.74 points, or 0.56%, after having risen more than 585 points earlier in the session, while the S&P 500 dropped 0.72% as both indexes fell deeper into correction territory. The Nasdaq Composite fell further into bear market territory as it slid 0.28%.
Markets turned around as investors weighed Biden’s announcement prohibiting all U.S. sales and imports of Russian oil to hold Moscow accountable for an “unprovoked and unjustified war on Ukraine.”
West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the U.S. benchmark, rose as much as 7% to $128 per barrel while the international benchmark, Brent crude, hit $128.38 per barrel.
The national average for U.S. gas prices also rose to $4.17 per gallon, exceeding the prior record of $4.11 from July 2008 which was not adjusted for inflation, according to AAA.
Rising oil prices brought on by the conflict as well as broad increases in commodities amid rising inflation caused concern of a recession among investors.
“Surging oil prices can’t singularly trigger a recession and it would take more than sky-high energy prices for the consumer impact to become recessionary,” David Bahnsen, chief investment officer at The Bahnsen Group, said in a note according to Yahoo Finance. “The big question now is what the plans are to replace Russian oil in American and European supply needs and then how effective an embargo may prove to be in de-escalating the military situation in Ukraine.”
Shares of Chevron rose 5.24% amid the rising oil prices while SunPower Corporation gained 18.74% and Enphase Energy climbed 10.82% as investors turned to alternative energy sources.
Airline stocks were also on the rise with Southwest Airlines rising 5.3%, American Airlines gaining 5.22%, Delta increasing 3.69% and United Airlines growing 3.32%.