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Stocks slip as Ukraine fears return

Stocks are lower this morning after Ford missed estimates and as tensions increased in Ukraine.

S&P 500 futures are down about 0.3 percent. Europe is lower as well, led by declines of more than 1 percent in Frankfurt, Madrid and Milan. Tokyo was the only major Asian market to eke out a small gain overnight, while Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, and Bangkok all fell more than 1 percent. India's Sensex, which has led global markets in recent weeks, ended down 0.8 percent after failing to hold a new all-time high.

It could be bearish if current price action continues because the S&P 500 is still below its all-time peak of 1897 established earlier this month. That would represent a lower high and mark the first time in more than a year that the index did not reach a new zenith after pulling back. Treasury bonds have also been strong.

F declined 3 percent after increased warranty expenses caused the auto maker's earnings to miss forecasts, though sales beat estimates. Visa dropped 4 percent after revenue lagged expectations and management warned that growth will continue to slow. Microsoft inched higher on strong quarterly results, while Amazon.com dipped after profit margins remained under pressure.

Ukraine is the other big news story after five pro-Russian activists were killed in the southeastern city of Slavyansk and Moscow increased military drills near the border with its former satellite. Standard & Poor's downgraded Russia to one notch above junk.

There are no economic reports on the agenda for today. The calendar remains relatively quiet until next Wednesday, which is packed with key events including a Federal Reserve announcement, ADP's private-sector payrolls report, gross domestic product and European inflation. Corporate earnings also continue to flow at a steady pace.

Oil fell about half a percent, while gold and grains rose about the same amount. Currencies are little-changed.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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