The Dow Jones Industrial Average heads for its first correction in 2 years. Here’s the level to watch.

An ugly stretch for U.S. equities intensified to start the week as the crisis in Ukraine worsened and investors weighed the prospect of further sanctions to cripple the Russian economy as the Kremlin wages war in Eastern Europe.

Against that backdrop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average

closed sharply lower Monday, marking its worst finish of 2022, and entering correction for the first close in correction territory in over two years.

 A close below 33,119.685 was the level needed to mark a 10% decline from its Jan. 4 record high, meeting the commonly used definition of a correction. The Dow finished Monday trade at 32,817.38.

The Dow last finished in correction on Feb. 27, 2020, and extended the decline into a bear market, defined as a drop of at least 20% from a recent peak, during the height of the pandemic-fueling selloff two years ago.

The Dow would join the S&P 500

in correction territory, which the broad-based index entered on Feb. 22 for the first time in two years.

A surge in crude oil
as investors contemplated the next steps that the White House might take to punish Moscow, was sparking concerns about a potential global economic recession.

Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, now in its 12th day, has roiled commodity markets, and soured relations between the Kremlin and the West, with selected Russian banks removed from the SWIFT payment network, a key mechanism for communicating global payments and much of Russia’s stock market closed as the ruble


The decline in U.S. markets also pushed the Nasdaq Composite

into a bear market, which it achieved on the session by closing below 12,845.95. It finished at 21% below its Nov. 19 peak.