Stocks end strong week on lower note as Ukraine worries intrude

Stocks closed mostly lower but well off midday lows following reports that Ukrainian artillery destroyed a large part of the column of armored vehicles that had been seen entering Ukraine from Russia.

The S&P 500 settled just below its flatline to post a 1.2% gain for the week, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 0.3% to extend the week's advance to 2.2%.

After registering the lowest NYSE floor volume of the year yesterday, today's participation was boosted by options expiration, resulting in more than 740M shares traded hands at the NYSE.

Treasurys rallied in reaction to the Ukraine news but surrendered some of its gains, as the benchmark 10-year yield fell 6 bps to 2.34% for its lowest close since mid-June of last year.

West Texas crude oil jumped 1.9% to $97.31 on the Ukraine tensions but still posted losses for the week, pressured by soft global demand.

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