Market Snapshot: Dow futures sink nearly 700 points, oil prices spike as Putin authorizes invasion of Ukraine

U.S. stock-index futures on Wednesday night were tumbling, extending an earlier decline on Wall Street, as Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a “special military operation” in pro-Russian areas of Ukraine, a move that is being interpreted as a further escalation of military tensions in Eastern Europe.

CNN on Wednesday night was reporting a cavalcade of explosions near Kyiv. The assault came after Putin delivered a speech on Russia media announcing the operation.

How are stock-index futures trading

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average


were down 701 points, or 2.1%, to 32,385.

S&P 500 futures


were off 91 points, or 2.2%, at 4,126.

Those for the Nasdaq-100 futures


were down 368 points, or 2.7%, at 13,145.

At Wednesday’s close of regular trade, the Dow industrials

fell 464.85 points, or 1.4%, to end at 33,131.76, ending a stone’s throw a close in correction territory. The S&P 500

 fell 79.26 points, or 1.8%, to around 4,225.50, deepening its stumble into correction territory, while the Nasdaq Composite Index

declined 344.03 points, or 2.6%, at 13,037.49.

What’s driving the moves?

In a televised address, Putin said the special operation comes in response to threats coming from Ukraine. He said Russia doesn’t intend to occupy Ukraine and said the responsibility for bloodshed lies with the Ukrainian “regime.”

The Russia president also warned other countries that any attempt to interfere would lead to “consequences they have never seen.”

The action comes as Ukraine had already declared a state of emergency, mobilizing reservists and calling on its citizens to leave Russia immediately amid that threat of a full-scale invasion by Moscow.

U.S. authorities have estimated that Russia has more than 150,000 troops along Ukraine’s borders with Russia and Belarus.

The intensifying conflict came as the United Nations Security Council called an emergency meeting Wednesday night to discuss the developments in Ukraine.

Investors have been on edge since Putin on Tuesday ordered forces into separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, in what he initially described as “peacekeeping” missions.

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