Whipsawed financial markets end higher as Russia invades Ukraine. Is it time to sell or buy stocks?

U.S. stocks opened lower Thursday as Russia began invading Ukraine. But remarks President Joe Biden made during an afternoon address on the conflict quelled some anxiety amongst investors.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and the NASDAQ Composite, which all opened down more than 2%, rebounded and closed higher.

The tech-heavy NASDAQ index ended Thursday with the greatest gains amongst the three indices. It closed 436 points higher, amounting to a 3.34% increase. The S&P 500 closed 63 points higher, or 1.5%, while the Dow closed 92 points higher, or 0.28%.

Crude oil was trading at more than $105 a barrel briefly on Thursday, the highest level since 2014, but closed under $100 a barrel.

Since Russian troops invaded Ukraine late Wednesday night, there have been at least 40 casualties and dozens of people were wounded from explosions that occurred in major cities, including the capital of Kyiv, and the cities of Kharkiv and Odesa.

Biden reiterated that “our forces are not and will not be engaged in a conflict with Russia in Ukraine.” But he added that U.S. troops “will be sent to other parts of Europe to protect our NATO.”

Biden also announced in the televised address that G7 leaders are limiting “Russia’s ability to do business in dollars, euros, pounds and yen to be part of the global economy,” in addition to other sanctions.

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Smoke rises from an air defense base in the aftermath of an apparent Russian strike in Mariupol, Ukraine, on Thursday. Russian troops have launched an attack on Ukraine.

Gold prices spike while bitcoin tumbles

Skittish investors are taking the more traditional path, opting to purchase gold over cryptocurrency. Gold futures closed 0.8% higher. During trading hours it hit its highest levels since September 2020.

Like gold, cryptocurrency is often viewed as an asset to hedge against inflation and stock market volatility. Bitcoin prices were down by more…

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