Stocks drifted lower through the afternoon, wrapping up the biggest weekly losses since late January for the Dow and S&P 500, as geopolitical tensions kept investors on the sidelines.
Market sensitivity was on full display when indexes turned positive after the Russian foreign minister said Russia has no intentions of invading eastern Ukraine, but went negative again as U.S.-Russian talks broke apart without a resolution to the crisis.
Small-cap stocks, which tend to be less exposed to developments overseas and more focused on the U.S., held up relatively well, the Russell 2000 gained 0.4%.
Similar to yesterday, trading volume was on the light side with only 628M shares changing hands at the NYSE.
Safe-haven investments rose: Buying in bonds pushed the 10-year Treasury yield down to 2.645% from 2.659%, while gold futures rose 0.5% to a six-month high $1,379/oz.