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Overnight Markets: Stocks fall on Ukraine tensions

Overnight Markets: Stocks fall on Ukraine tensions

US stocks closed down on Tuesday, wiping out yesterday’s rebound and sending benchmark indexes to the lowest levels since May, as concerns mounted over escalating tensions in Ukraine.

The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 140 points, or 0.84%, to 16,429, the S&P 500 ended down 19 points, or 0.97%, to 1,920, and the Nasdaq Composite lost 31 points, or 0.71%, to 4,353.

Market gained earlier in the session after data showed new orders for US factory goods increased more than expected in June, and a measure of growth in the services sector increased at the fastest rate in 8-1/2 years.

However, selling accelerated in the afternoon on reports that Russian troops were massing near the Ukraine border.

Energy shares suffered the most amid concerns about oversupply of oil and disappointing results from Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD.N). Pioneer lost 5.6% and was the worst-performing S&P energy name.

Shortly after the close, Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA.O), the media company controlled by Rupert Murdoch, said it had withdrawn its offer to buy Time Warner Inc (TWX.N). Shares of Fox jumped, gaining 7.7% in after-hours action, while Time Warner shares fell 11.4%.

Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) reported better-than-expected earnings after the bell, but its shares were little changed.

Target (TGT.N) shares fell 4.4% after discount retailer cut its second-quarter earnings estimate.

Shares of solar and LED equipment maker GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT.O) gained 6.7% a day after it raised the lower end of its full-year 2014 adjusted profit forecast.

In Asia, shares declined on Wednesday after US equities dropped to a two-month low amid escalating tensions in Ukraine.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) dropped 0.5% to 146 as of 9:43 a.m. in Hong Kong. Japan’s Topix index fell 0.9% and South Korea’s Kospi index declined 0.1%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index both lost 0.3%.

The Hang Seng Index slid 0.6% in Hong Kong, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland shares traded in the city lost 1%. China’s Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.7%. Taiwan’s Taiex Index was little changed after plummeting 2% yesterday. Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 0.2%.

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