Investing.com - U.S. stocks edged lower on Friday after the West
slapped fresh sanctions on Russia and brewed fears a diplomatic
solution to the standoff may be farther off on the horizon.
At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
fell 0.17%, the S&P 500 index fell 0.30%, while the Nasdaq
Composite index fell 0.98%.
The European Union and the U.S. intensified sanctions against
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his allies to pressure his
government to defuse the global standoff over Ukraine.
Western nations added new names to their lists of Russians and
Ukrainians punished with asset freezes and travel bans.
Russia followed suit with similar sanctions, and while viewed by
markets as a tit-for-tat measure, stock prices fell on concerns
diplomatic efforts to diffuse the crisis may be unraveling.
Russia earlier Friday completed its annexation of Crimea, which
voted last week to join its eastern neighbor and break ties with
Elsewhere, expectations for the Federal Reserve to continue
tapering monthly bond purchases, currently at $55 billion a month,
edged stocks lower as well.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen said earlier this week that interest
rates will rise around six months after the bond-buying program
closes, which markets view as sometime this fall.
Fed asset purchases aim to stimulate the economy by suppressing
interest rates to send stocks rising in hopes investing and hiring
Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included
Wal-Mart Stores, up 1.45%, Caterpillar, up 1.19%, and Johnson &
Johnson, up 0.76%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included
Nike, down 5.12%, Merck, down 1.54%, and Goldman Sachs, down
European indices, meanwhile, finished higher.
After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 rose 0.41%,
France's CAC 40 rose 0.17%, while Germany's DAX 30 rose 0.50%.
Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 rose 0.23%.
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