US stocks slip as investors assess Bullard’s comments on rates and digest Ukraine-Russia developments

US stocks fell Monday as the market weighs Russia-Ukraine developments and the outlook for interest rates.
Russia indicated it’s open to continuing diplomatic talks
St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard told CNBC the Fed needs to move quickly in raising interest rates.

Losses for US stocks narrowed Monday after Russia indicated it was open keep searching for a diplomatic resolution in its dispute with Ukraine, but equities were still weighed by the prospect of numerous interest-rate hikes this year by the Federal Reserve.

Wall Street’s key indexes briefly turned higher ahead of the opening bell after Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to agree with  Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s call that Moscow continue diplomatic talks with the West. Stocks have been pressured in recent sessions on fears that Russia is set to invade Ukraine as it seeks to keep the former Soviet republic from joining NATO.

But stocks slipped back after St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard told CNBC the Fed needs to move quickly in raising interest rates to tame hot inflation.

Here’s where US indexes stood at 9:30 a.m. on Monday:

S&P 500: 4,418.63, down 0.01%Dow Jones Industrial Average: 34,711.37, down 0.08% (26.69 points)Nasdaq Composite: 13,768.49, down 0.16%

“I do think we need to front-load more of our planned removal of accommodation than we would have previously. We’ve been surprised to the upside on inflation. This is a lot of inflation,” Bullard said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” program.

Around the markets, crypto exchange Coinbase said its services were running again after it was forced to throttle traffic to its website thanks to a viral Super Bowl ad spot on Sunday.

Billionaire investor George Soros slashed positions in Big Tech stocks at the end of the last quarter, and disclosed a big $2 billion stake in automaker Rivian.

Oil prices turned lower. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.3% to $92.86 per barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, lost 0.4% at $94.03.

Gold gained 1.2% to $1,864.40 per ounce. The 10-year yield rose 4 basis points to 1.983%.

Bitcoin rose 0.9% to $42,582.48.

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