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U.S. stocks dip in light trading, Ukraine in focus; Dow rises 0.06%

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Shutterstock photo - - U.S. stocks finished Tuesday largely lower in a subdued session void of major U.S. economic indicators, with investors monitoring events in Ukraine amid concerns that tensions could flare anew.

At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow 30 fell 0.06%, the S&P 500 index fell 0.16%, while the NASDAQ Composite index fell 0.27%.

The Volatility S&P 500 index, which measures the outlook for market volatility, was down 0.42% at 14.17.

Russia has said it is wrapping up military exercises on its border with Ukraine and has added the country is working with the International Red Cross to send humanitarian aid to Ukraine, which drew applause in recent sessions.

Still, uncertainty over whether the ceasefire can last watered down stocks on Tuesday, as concerns began to brew that Russian trucks shipping aid into Ukraine may be used as for covert operations that could escalate into more military conflict.

Concerns the standoff may be softening the global economy also kept U.S. stocks in negative territory, with German data priming such fears.

The ZEW Centre for Economic Research reported that its index of German economic sentiment dropped to 8.6 this month, down from 27.1 in July. It was the weakest reading in 20 months and came in well below economists' forecasts of 18.2.

The current conditions index deteriorated to a seven-month low of 44.3 from 61.8 in July, worse than expectations for a decline to 55.5.

Recent economic reports have indicated that sanctions slapped on Russia due to its alleged meddling in the Ukraine conflict are dragging on the German economy.

Germany is Russia's largest trading partner in Europe.

Traders also remained in standby mode ahead of the release of earnings out of the retail sector, with Wal-Mart, Kohl's and Macy's due to report later this week.

Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), up 0.75%, Dupont Fabros Technology Inc (NYSE:DFT), up 0.72%, and Merck & Company Inc (NYSE:MRK), up 0.68%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX), down 0.76%, General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), down 0.72%, and Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE), down 0.58%.

European indices, meanwhile, ended the day lower.

After the close of European trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.72%, France's CAC 40 fell 0.85%, while Germany's DAX fell 1.21%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 fell 0.01%. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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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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