** S&P 500 (.SPX) slides 1.3% as Ukraine crisis casts a pall
** That said, after hammering out a late-Feb low, that SPX floor is still holding read more
** This, as Nasdaq (.IXIC) bulls and bears battle it out read more , as the index attempts a fresh start read more
** The question is, can the IXIC rise to the challenge? read more
** Majority of sectors see unsettled weather: Financials skies most stormy, while energy shines
** Financials (.SPSY) plunge 4.9%. Major banks down as Treasury yield curve flattens further . Citigroup (C.N) falls on higher expenses forecast after disclosing $10 bln exposure to Russia . S&P 500 Banks index (.SPXBK) dives 8.5%
** Tech (.SPLRCT) drops 3%. Software firm Epam Systems (EPAM.N) biggest SPX loser, down nearly 50%, after scrapping annual outlook due to heightened uncertainties and Russia's invasion of Ukraine impact
** Consumer Discretionary (.SPLRCD) sags 2.6%. Travel-related names, including cruise liners, casino operators fall as Russia-Ukraine crisis deepens . VanEck Gaming ETF (BJK.O) dealt ~8% loss
** Consumer Staples (.SPLRCS) dips 0.1%. Though Kroger (KR.N) hits record high as digital business drives upbeat 2022 forecast . KR surges 27%
** Industrials (.SPLRCI) up 1.2%. U.S. defense stocks rise as Russia-Ukraine crisis worsens . SPDR Aerospace and Defense ETF (XAR.P) up 4%. But airlines tumble as oil prices soar . NYSE Arca Airline index (.XAL) descends 14%
** Energy (.SPNY) leaps 9.3%. Oil stocks jump as crude prices surpass $115 on Ukraine conflict . Crude has been on fire, but is the candle burning low? read more
** Meanwhile, bulls charge back, but bears still abound read more
** SPX performance YTD:
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