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Market Update

World Markets Pause on Escalating War of Words Between Russia and Europe

Author: Nichole Harper
Last Update: 2:12 PM ET September 02 2014

2:10 PM New York – Stocks across Atlantic paused the advance after war of words escalated between Russian president Vladimir V Putin and European leaders ahead of NATO summit on Thursday.

Stocks on Wall Street turned lower in afternoon after S&P 500 index registered the largest monthly increase in August since February.

Tollbooth Index gained 0.3% or 23.92 to 9,549.39, the index tracking companies with rising bargaining power advanced to record high.

S&P 500 index declined 7.51 to 1,995.86 and the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 1.13 to 4,581.40.

Investors turned cautious after war of words escalated between Russia and European leaders as Ukraine said Russia is increasing its presence on the border and nearly 16,000 troops are helping rebels advance.

Investors focused on geopolitical developments in Europe and tensions between Russia and Ukraine escalated. Ukraine alleged rebels are supported by as many as 16,000 Russian troops and Russian President Vladimir V. Putin supported the breakup of Ukraine and advanced the cause of independent statehood for Eastern Ukraine.

Also comments from Putin lifted already elevated tensions and Russian forces increased involvement in fighting and supporting rebels in Eastern Ukraine.

U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to travel to Estonia and offer a symbolic support before he arrives for the NATO meeting in Wales, U.K. this week.

The military alliance of 28 nations is expected to endorse a rapid response force of 4,000 troops to help Ukraine at a two-day meeting ending on Friday in Wales.

Russian president Putin reportedly said he could “take Kiev in two weeks” in response to a question posed by European Commission president Jose Barroso whether Russian troops had crossed into eastern Ukraine.

U.S. Movers

1-800-Flowers.com (FLWS) soared 11.6% or 60 cents to $5.75 after the florist and gift shop operator plans to acquire Harry & David Holdings Inc, gourmet food retailer, for about $142.5 million.

Dollar General Corp (DG) gained 56 cents to $64.55 after the discount retailer raised its bid for Family Dollar Stores Inc to $80 a share or $9.1 billion. The company also warned that it may take its appeal directly to shareholders if the revised offer was rejected by the management.

Family Dollar said the board will review revised offer of Dollar General but likely to stick with its deal with Dollar Tree.

Halliburton Company (HAL) rose 32 cents to $67.95 after the oilfield services provider agreed to a settlement of $1.1 billion with substantial majority of the plaintiffs’ class claims asserted against the company related to Macondo well incident in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010.

The company agreed to pay in three installments over two years.

European Markets

In London trading, FTSE 100 index edged down 0.02% or 1.18 to 6,824.13 and in Frankfurt the DAX index gained 0.4% or 41.30 to 9,520.33.

In Paris, CAC 40 index rose 0.2% or 7.45 to 4,387.18.

Telefonica SA fell 0.6% to €11.99 after the Spain-based communication, media and entertainment service provider said it plans to sell its 14.8% stake in Telecom Italia SpA after a deal to acquire the Paris-based Vivendi''s Brazilian broadband unit GVT S.A.

Asian Markets

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Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc