On February 27, the S&P 500 ended at another record close. However, it was well off the day’s highs as concerns about tensions in Ukraine prompted investors to take profits ahead of the weekend. All three major indexes closed out with strong gains in February.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was the best of all and scored its best monthly percentage gain since January 2013, while the S&P 500 had its best month since October.
The S&P managed to hit an intraday record for a second time in the week as consumer confidence and other data bucked the current trends of weaker economic reports. However, indexes started to turn negative as the acting President of Ukraine accused Russia of open aggression and remarked that Moscow was following a similar scenario to the one before it went to war with Georgia in 2008.
“There’s chatter about Russia’s (involvement) in the Ukraine, and that’s getting people all jittery,” said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles. “It’s sell first, and ask questions later on a Friday afternoon. You don’t know what’s going to happen over the weekend, so people are going to lock in profits.”
The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 49.06 points or 0.3 percent, to 16,321.71, while the S&P 500 .SPX gained 5.16 points or 0.28 percent, to 1,859.45, a record close. The S&P 500 hit an intraday record of 1,867.92. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 10.814 points or 0.25 percent, to 4,308.119.
For February, the Dow rose 4 percent, the S&P 500 gained 4.3 percent and the Nasdaq advanced 5 percent. For the week, the Dow was up 1.4 percent, the S&P 500 was up 1.3 percent and the Nasdaq was up 1 percent.