Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is triggering a drop in stock prices.
But now may not be the best time to go on a stock shopping spree. That’s because prices may slide even further amid a heightened state of uncertainty, says Eric Freedman, the chief investment officer at U.S. Bank.
On Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin got approval from lawmakers to use Russian troops outside of the country. This comes one day after Putin declared two Ukrainian regions independent.
President Joe Biden said Putin’s moves represent “the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.” He also announced forthcoming sanctions targeting Russian financial institutions and sovereign debt that are set to go into effect on Wednesday.
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President Joe Biden speaks about Ukraine in the East Room of the White House, Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022, in Washington.
Markets reacted. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed nearly 483 points, or 1.4%, on Tuesday. While the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite also closed lower, by around 1% each.
Buying the stock market dip
Fears are mounting that the Russia-Ukrainian conflict could escalate as the U.S. and European allies respond to Russia.
That would have more of a direct impact on U.S. stocks than what investors are currently seeing.
But markets have largely priced in the risks of a Russian invasion of Ukraine and U.S. actions that could follow, Freedman said, adding that “some of the worst-case scenarios at least seem to be on the back burner just for now.”
So if you’re looking for an opportunity to buy stocks that are falling in price, known as “buying the dip,” you may want to consider holding out. “The store will remain open for a couple of months,” Freedman told USA Today. “But if one is sitting on a bunch of cash, could you put a little bit to work here? Yes, but we would not be aggressive in this environment.”
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Investors should look out for “dividend aristocrats”, or companies that have above-average earnings and dividend growth “for an extended period of time,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA.
“Everything essentially gets thrown out with the bathwater in a market decline,” he said, explaining why it’s a good idea to consider high-performing dividend stocks during a widespread selloff.
Consequences of Russia-Ukraine conflict
It’s also important to bear in mind that the Russia-Ukraine conflict may not “end up roiling the global economy,” said Callie Cox, U.S. investment analyst at eToro. “The U.S. doesn’t rely on Russia as a top trade partner, and the fear of commodity trade disruption may be overdone,” she said, referring to oil and gas prices.
On Tuesday, oil prices closed at nearly $100 a barrel, a more than seven-year record high.
She added, “history shows that geopolitical threats often have more impact than the event itself.”
Cox pointed out that in 2014 the S&P 500 stock index lost 6% of its value over fears that Russia would occupy Crimea. Then, two weeks before Russia officially occupied the region “the market bottomed out.” After that the index went shifted into bull territory, hitting record highs on several occasions in the weeks that followed.
“When the market fears the worst, it’s often a sign that we’ve turned a corner,” Cox said. The same could prove true for the current conflict.
Anxiety over interest rates
It would better serve investors to pay more attention to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy, analysts told USA Today.
Minutes from the latest Fed meeting signaled the central bank is ready to become more in raising interest rates to fight inflation, which is at a 40-year record high.
“There’s a risk that they’re actually going to be hiking into a weakening economy,” Freedman said. “That tends not to bode well for equity investors,” he added, referring to stocks.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Stock moves to make as Russian-Ukraine conflict escalates