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Stocks sink as crisis escalates in Ukraine

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Investors were watching fast-moving developments in Ukraine. Russian forces seized control of border posts and stationed troops and machinery near border crossings, officials in Kiev stated. Russia’s currency and stock market plunged on the news. U.S. investors turned to the safety of gold and treasuries. As a result of Russia's actions, the Dow (^DJI) fell nearly 170 points, finishing down 1%. The broader S&P 500 (^GSPC) recovered slightly to lose 0.8%, while the Nasdaq (^IXIC) lost 0.8% as well.

The State Department said Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Kiev Tuesday in a show of support for the interim Ukrainian government and discuss ways to address the country’s financial situation. Concerns about Ukraine overshadowed positive news on the U.S. economy. The Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity rose from an eight-month low of 51.3 in January to 53.2 in February.

Meanwhile, in U.S. corporate news, Citigroup (C) said a federal grand jury is investigating the company over questions about its Banamex unit’s compliance with anti-money laundering requirements. In a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Citigroup said the probe includes subpoenas from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts. On Friday, Citigroup revealed it has uncovered at least $400 million in fraudulent loans associated with its Banamex subsidiary in Mexico.

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