Stock Market Today: Ukraine-Russia Overshadows Good U.S. Data

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks had a lower close Thursday as investors fretted about renewed geopolitical risks, which also fed into concerns that there have been increased signs of deflationary spiral dangers coming out of Europe.

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Geopolitical caution seeped into the markets after Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko's statement that Russia has invaded Ukraine. The event added to jitters about eurozone deflationary pressures after the single-currency bloc's largest economy posted disconcerting data amid a spate of low national inflation reports. Germany reported an unexpected rise in unemployment in August and a low annual inflation rate of 0.8% for August. Meanwhile the decline in Spanish consumer prices accelerated and Belgium's inflation rate dropped to its lowest level in nearly five years.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.25% to 17,079.57. The S&P 500 was down 0.17% to 1,996.74.The Nasdaq was down 0.26% to 4,557.69.

While much of Thursday's chatter had been about Russia and Ukraine, tepid data out of Europe also was a big driver of the defensive action, a much deeper problem in the long run and particularly bad for those who are long equities, said Charlie Bilello, director of research at Pension Partners. Europe doesn't need Ukraine's help to continue experiencing a further slowdown, one that could hurt the U.S. In the bigger picture, the Ukraine-Russia situation appears more contained by comparison than many would want to admit, said Bilello.

"Ukraine is being used as a scapegoat for any equity weakness," said Bilello.

The hunt for safety pushed the Guggenheim Currency Shares Japanese Yen Trust up 0.19% to $93.95 and the SPDR Gold Trust up 0.54% to $124.

The United States Oil Fund rose 0.83% to $35.32 and the Guggenheim CurrencyShares Euro Trust fell 0.08% to $130.01, influenced by worries about the impact rising Russia-Ukraine tensions could have on the single-currency bloc and how the fallout could affect global oil exports.

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In London, the FTSE 100 slipped 0.36% to 6,805.80. In Frankfurt, the DAX declined 1.12% to 9,462.56. The CAC in Paris gave up 0.66% to stand at 4,366.04.

U.S. economic data was better than expected, with the second estimate of U.S. second-quarter GDP revised up to 4.2% vs. the 4% consensus estimate. Weekly initial jobless claims fell to 298,000 last week vs. the average estimate of 300,000. Pending home sales rebounded by 3.3% in July. The Kansas City Fed Labor Market Conditions Indicators showed continued improvement, increasing in July to -0.6.