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Dow drops more than 600 points in worst decline of 2022 as Russia-Ukraine tensions worry investors

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Stocks declined Thursday as investors eyed the Russia-Ukraine conflict and digested corporate earnings reports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed about 460 points, or 1.3%. The S&P 500 dipped 1.4%. The Nasdaq Composite fell 1.5%.

“Not only is the market trying to navigate the geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine, it’s also trying to navigate an earnings minefield,” Adam Sarhan, CEO of 50 Park Investments, said.

Ongoing tension at the Russia-Ukraine border continued to impact market sentiment. The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations said Thursday the conflict had reached a “crucial moment.” Ukraine accused pro-Russian separatists of attacking a village near the border.

“The evidence on the ground is that Russia is moving toward an imminent invasion,” Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said.

The VanEck Russia exchange-traded fund, which tracks shares of companies tied to the country, fell more than 5% on Thursday.

The sell-off in stocks was broad-based, with financials and technology leading S&P 500 sectors lower.

Meanwhile, market participants bid up safe-haven assets. Gold futures rose more than 1% and the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yield, which moves inversely to price, fell below 2%.

Investors also digested a slew of corporate earnings reports.

Palantir sunk more than 11% after the company missed profit expectations. Nvidia fell more than 8% despite a better-than-expected earnings report as the chip maker’s first-quarter gross margin guidance came in slightly lower than analysts expected.

“The market is really looking at … companies that are going to be projecting better earnings and cash flow,” Sarat Sethi, managing partner and portfolio manager at DCLA, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

Walmart topped expectations and reaffirmed guidance, sending its shares up more than 1%. Cisco rose more than 4% after the company also topped estimates and raised guidance. DoorDash saw its shares surge more than 14% after reporting better-than-expected revenue and order numbers.

On the economic front, weekly jobless claims numbers came in at 248,000, rising from the previous week and above the 218,000 expected, according to a Dow Jones estimate. Housing permits for January showed a surprise increase, but housing starts lagged expectations.

For the week, the S&P 500 is marginally higher and the Nasdaq Composite is up more than 1%. The Dow is the relative laggard, down slightly on the week.

–CNBC’s Jesse Pound contributed to this report.

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