U.S. stocks erased losses, led by a rally in energy producers, as violence in Ukraine boosted oil prices.
The S&P 500 pared declines in the late afternoon, ending the day little changed at 1,955.06 as 4 p.m. in New York. It earlier fell as much as 0.7 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 50.67 points, or 0.3 percent, to 16,662.91.
“Investors are trying to weed through what exactly is going on in Ukraine, and the market is drifting back,” Stephen Carl, principal and head equity trader at New York-based Williams Capital Group LP, said. “We have a geopolitical situation that needs to be addressed, and that’s overshadowing everything else in the market.”
Ukrainian government troops attacked an armed convoy that had crossed the border from Russian territory, Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for the country’s military, told reporters in Kiev. Ukrainian soldiers continue to come under shelling, including rounds fired from Russia, he said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Ukraine is attempting to disrupt an aid convoy, and called for a cease-fire to allow delivery of supplies.
The government in Kiev has for months said that separatist rebels in its easternmost regions are receiving support from Russia, which backs them with artillery fire. Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement in the Ukrainian unrest.
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