* Russian stock market, bonds and currency plunge
* Crude prices up more than 2 percent
* Gold stocks rise, tracking the metal's price move
* Indexes down: Dow 1 pct, S&P 0.8 pct, Nasdaq 1 pct
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, March 3 U.S. stocks fell on Monday
alongside other risk assets globally as Ukraine and Russia
prepared for possible war after Russian President Vladimir Putin
declared he had the right to invade his neighbor.
Ukraine mobilized for war on Sunday and Washington
threatened to isolate Russia economically as Moscow's biggest
confrontation with the West since the Cold War unfolded.
The S&P 500 had closed at a record high on Friday, and
profit-taking was expected on Wall Street due to the political
"There's been a very significant rally," said Rick Meckler,
president of investment firm LibertyView Capital Management in
Jersey City, New Jersey. "If you need an excuse to sell, this is
a good one."
Russian stocks and bonds fell sharply and the central bank
hiked interest rates to defend the ruble. The
MICEX index of Moscow stocks tumbled 11 percent to
1,288.81. The dollar-denominated RTS stock index tumbled
The Market Vectors Russia ETF fell 7 percent in
heavy volume, hitting a session low of $22.16, its lowest in
Energy stocks could lose if relations between the United
States and Russia deteriorate further. Volatility will likely
spike alongside the uncertainty of the situation.
"Anything that involves a boycott of Russian supplies, which
are very significant, could impact the energy sector
dramatically," said Meckler.
"In situations like this, you see very quick reactions
reverse as people understand the scenario and how things play
The initial reaction in energy stocks was on the upside,
however, as both Brent and U.S. crude prices rose
more than 2 percent each.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 160.16 points
or 0.98 percent, to 16,161.55, the S&P 500 lost 15.52
points or 0.83 percent, to 1,843.93 and the Nasdaq Composite
dropped 41.87 points or 0.97 percent, to 4,266.249.
Gold prices hit a four month high as investors sought
safe-haven assets, boosting gold stocks.
U.S.-traded AngloGold Ashanti shares gained 3.7 percent
Though the focus will likely remain on Ukraine, the economic
calendar was busy on Monday. U.S. consumer spending rose more
than expected in January, likely as chilly weather boosted
demand for heating. Separate data showed U.S. manufacturing
growth rebounded off an eight-month low in February, helped by a
recovery in new orders, and construction spending unexpectedly
rose in January.