By Susan Mathew and Devik Jain
(Reuters) – Wall Street’s major indexes tumbled on Tuesday as Home Depot shares tumbled after the company’s disappointing earnings, while the prospect of tough Western sanctions on Russia over its Ukraine conflict kept investors on edge.
Seven of the S&P 500’s 11 major sectors were down, with non-essential consumer stocks leading losses, down 1.6%.
Home Depot was down 6.8% after the home improvement chain reported declining gross profit margins for the final quarter of the year due to a jump in transportation and labor costs. His shares accounted for the most weight on the Dow this session.
Global stocks tumbled after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine and deployed troops to those locations, prompting Western sanctions.
Germany halted the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, which was supposed to bring Russian gas to the country, and the UK imposed sanctions on five Russian banks and three men close to Putin.
The European Commission and the United States are expected to announce more sanctions later on Tuesday.
“The fear factor remains high, and until we have a clearer picture of what Putin can and cannot do, the market will remain confused and volatile,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities.
At 1:43 pm ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.80% to 33,806.89 points, while the S&P 500 was down 0.55% to 4,324.85 points. The Nasdaq Composite technology index fell 0.87% to 13,429.86 points.
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