Business

UKRAINE CONFLICT: No immediate fallout in local gas prices, stock movement

By Joel Phelps
The Arkadelphian

With the West on the brink of a major conflict with Russia in light of its invasion of Ukraine and threats toward NATO’s intervention, the economic effects will soon be felt around the world.

In Arkadelphia, those effects had yet to be felt within the first 24 hours of Russia’s attacks on Ukraine.

The national average for a gallon of fuel was at $3.53 Thursday morning — 23 cents higher than the price at gas stations in Arkadelphia, where gas prices always appear inflated compared to surrounding cities.

Asked what he foresees with local gas prices, local Exxon operator Randy Dixon said, “I see the same thing on the news everybody else does. I don’t have any inside [information] to the price other than 24 hours at a time.”

Dixon told The Arkadelphian he sets prices at his two Exxon stations based on an email he receives every afternoon on the MSRP on a gallon of fuel for the next 24 hours.

News outlets across the globe are forewarning of falling stocks. While he’s keeping an eye on what’s going on overseas, Keith Runyan said the local reaction hasn’t been so grim.

Runyan, an investment advisor representative at Wallstreet in the Woods, said he hadn’t seen a “huge amount” of fluctuation in the stocks he manages. “I manage people’s money a lot, so I don’t react as much as I respond,” Runyan said. “Reactionary people will sell off on a day like today.”

The conflict between Russia and its western neighbor is a “very volatile situation,” he said. “This hasn’t played out yet. I’m not a buyer yet, but I probably will be before it’s over. Certain stocks are going to have to fall farther than they did this morning for me to say ‘This is a good buy’ and jump in there.”

Runyan said he would urge investors to “hold back just a little bit” if they’re fully invested in the market. He likened the scenario to catching a falling knife. “If you try this, it hurts,” he said. “They’re down a little, but tomorrow they could go up quite a bit, depending on what happens overseas.”

Investors have had good stocks and have seen good gains, so Runyan didn’t move any stocks on Thursday. “I’ll use Apple as an example,” he explained. “If someone has great profits in Apple today, we don’t need to sell into this fall. Once this gets resolved a little bit, Apple will go back up.”

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