Stock market news live updates: Stocks fall after Russia-Ukraine ceasefire talks fail, red-hot CPI print

U.S. stocks resumed losses Thursday after economic data out of Washington showed another 40-year high CPI print and talks held between Russia and Ukraine's foreign ministers failed to make progress on negotiating a ceasefire.

The S&P 500 dipped 0.43% to 4,259.49 after posting its biggest gain in two years in the previous session, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 113 points, or 0.34%, to 3,173.22 following a 650-point rally Wednesday. 

The Nasdaq Composite fell nearly 1% to 13,129.96. Meanwhile, the 10-year U.S. Treasury index soared 6.6 basis points to yield 2%. The U.S. 30-year yield rose to 2.39%, marking the highest level since May 2021.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov held a meeting in Turkey Thursday with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba to discuss a 24-hour ceasefire across war zone and opening of a corridor in the southern Ukrainian port of Mariupol but Lavrov reportedly did not commit to either.

The declines come after stocks ended a losing streak in the previous session to log their best session in two years as investors looked optimistically toward a possible de-escalation of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Energy prices fell sharply Wednesday after soaring to a 14-year high this week following reports Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky was open to discussing a diplomatic solution with Russia. WTI crude oil plunged to around $110 per barrel, while Brent crude fell to trade near $112 per barrel. The S&P 500 Energy sector snapped an 8-day winning streak.

“Markets were priced like the Straits of Hormuz were blockaded, and that was just not reasonable, and it's not like the Middle East suddenly was offline,” Harris Financial Group managing partner Jamie Cox said in a note.

 “Markets often have ‘hair on fire’ overreactions to world events which unlocks tremendous value for those who pay attention to the price dislocations.”

“Equity markets have a bid [Wednesday] as the markets [were] clinging to the slightest glimmer of hope of a possible step towards de-escalation when the Ukrainian and Russian finance ministers meet in Turkey tomorrow,” Commonwealth Financial Network global investment strategist Anu Gaggar said in a note.

 “Markets may also be taking a break from a downtrend and seeing some consolidation due to oversold conditions.”

U.S. traders will continue to monitor geopolitical conditions but temporarily shifted their attention to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the latest gauge on inflation.

Consumers paid more for a variety of goods and services in February compared to the prior month and year as price level across the economy continued to surge amid lingering supply and demand disruptions.

The latest CPI read notched 7.9% in February compared to last year in the fastest annual jump since 1982, also surpassing January's previous 40-year high rate of 7.5%. 

The figure was in line with consensus economist expectations, according to Bloomberg data.

"Net, net, the inflation fire was already hot and now with war-driven inflation added to the mix, it will grow even hotter, setting off a scramble by the world’s central banks to pull back their stimulus earlier than expected," FWDBONDS chief economist Christopher S. Rupkey said in a note.

"A spike in inflation rates has preceded economic recessions historically and this time prices have soared to levels that once again pose a threat to growth," he added. 

"Markets were cheering this economic recovery and return to strong economic growth, but the cheers will turn to tears if the inflation outbreak pushes businesses and consumers to the brink of recession."

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