US stocks waver as Ukraine tensions linger

The Associated Press
Associated Press
In this Wednesday, March 12, 2014, photo, traders Jeffrey Vazquez, left, and James Denaro work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Most global stock markets fell sharply Friday March 14, 2014 over persistent concerns about weakness in the Chinese economy and tensions in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

The U.S. stock market is fluctuating between small gains and losses as investors keep a close eye on tensions in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian region of Crimea is holding a vote over the weekend over whether to secede. The U.S. and Europe have warned Russia of consequences if it moves to seize the region.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose four points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,850 as of noon. Utilities rose the most as investors sought out low-risk stocks.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 36 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,145. The Nasdaq composite rose eight points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,269.

Liberty Media rose 8 percent after saying it would drop its bid to buy the rest of the satellite radio provider Sirius XM.