Stocks fell Tuesday after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered military forces into eastern Ukraine and western allies pledged to impose strict financial penalties.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 500 points shortly after 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, a decline of 1.4 percent. The Nasdaq composite was also down 1.4 percent and the S&P 500 index fell 1.1 percent.
Rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine reached new heights when the market was closed Monday as Putin recognized two areas in eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russian separatists as independent states. Putin on Tuesday escalated the conflict by ordering Russian troops into Ukraine to defend the so-called republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, which the White House described as an “invasion.”
President Biden is set to deliver a speech Tuesday afternoon and is expected to announce bruising financial sanctions on the Russian economy, businesses and potentially individuals. The White House said for months it would impose harsh penalties on Russia should it invade Ukraine, and on Monday banned any trade, investment and financing in the two separatist-controlled regions of Ukraine.
Biden’s pending announcement follows similar moves from European allies. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz moved to block the approval of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline between his nation and Russia. The United Kingdom imposed sanctions Tuesday on some Russian banks and individuals, and European Union officials also announced they would soon follow suit.
This story is developing