Markets plunged Friday after the White House said Russia could invade Ukraine “any day now,” including during this month’s Winter Olympics, a prospect that led panicked investors to dump stocks and caused oil prices to surge to seven-year highs.
Stocks plunged following the announcement from the White House: The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.5%, over 500 points, while the S&P 500 lost 1.9% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite 2.8%.
President Joe Biden’s national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, said in a press conference Friday afternoon that Russia could launch an invasion of Ukraine “any day now,” possibly even during the Olympics, amid signs of further military buildup at the country’s border.
Any American citizens should leave the country “immediately,” the White House said, adding that even though it is uncertain whether Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a final decision to invade, “it may well happen soon.”
The news sent oil prices surging higher, with the price of US crude oil rising up to 4.7% to briefly trade at over $94 per barrel—its highest price since 2014.
Adding to the selloff on Friday were ongoing investor concerns about how quickly the Federal Reserve will tighten monetary policy and raise interest rates to combat surging inflation.
Markets had already been reeling from a red-hot inflation reading from the Labor Department a day earlier, which showed consumer prices in January jumping 7.5% from a year ago.