Stock markets in the United States are trading lower on Friday as investors become increasingly concerned regarding the escalating conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

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In a telephone interview with Bloomberg, Tom Stringfellow, president and chief investment officer at Frost Investment Advisors LLC, commented, “Russian troops are massing up at the Ukrainian border, which is enough to make people nervous about anybody with business activities in Europe. The great earnings surprises from some of the big tech stocks haven’t quite been enough to bring down the wall of worry. We’ve become sensitive to having too many days of gains, and eventually there has to be a move down,” added Stringfellow.

Last night, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that he is running out of time to alleviate the tension in Ukraine. Kerry emphasized that it would be an “an expensive mistake” if Putin can’t fulfill Russia’s commitment in the agreement reached in a meeting in Geneva last week.

Yesterday Russia started its military exercises on the border of Ukraine. The Group of Seven Nations is preparing new sanctions against Russia, according to Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Jacques Porta of Ofi Gestion Privee in Paris commented, “The situation in Ukraine seems to be getting more tense and making investors nervous. A war would be a disaster for everybody.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 16,376.52 (-0.76%)
  • S&P 500- 1,864.33 (-0.76 %)
  • NASDAQ- 4,079.33 (-1.66%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,122.28 (-1.93%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,147.40 (-1.33%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,685.69 (-0.26%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,401.55 (-1.54%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 14,429.26 (+0.17%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 22,223.53 (-1.50%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,167.83 (-1.03%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) declined more than 9% to $305 per share at the time of this writing. Investors seemed unhappy even though the company reported earnings results that beat the consensus estimate of Wall Street analysts. The e-commerce giant delivered 23 cents in earnings per share on $19.74 billion in revenue for the first quarter, compared with the 21 cents in earnings per share on $19.42 billion expected by analysts. Investors noted that Amazon.com continues to spend cash in expanding its business, such as building more warehouses to accelerate shipments and adding new services at the expense of profits.

Visa Inc (NYSE:V) declined by over 4% to $220.30 per share after the second largest credit card company reported lower than expected revenue. According to VISA CEO Charlie Scharf, the strength of the U.S. dollar will continue to negatively affect the earnings growth of the company in the second quarter.

Shares of Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) sustained a steep decline after the Internet radio service provider posted lower than expected earnings and a second quarter outlook that missed consensus estimates. Pandora posted first quarter earnings of 13 cents per share on $180 million in revenue, compared with the 14 cents per share in earnings on $174.96 million in revenue forecast by analysts. The stock was trading around $23.62 per share at the time of this writing around 3:27 P.M. in New York.