US STOCKS-Wall Street little changed after data, Ukraine eyed

miércoles 5 de marzo de 2014 12:35 GYT

* ADP private sector employment short of expectations

* Financial stocks lead gains on the S&P 500

* Dow off 0.15 pct, S&P up 0.05 pct, Nasdaq up 0.12 pct

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, March 5 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed on Wednesday after two days of sharp swings as investors shrugged off soft data on jobs and the services sector, while keeping an eye on developments in Ukraine.

U.S. private employers added fewer workers than expected in February while the services sector continued to grow, albeit at a slower pace. A harsh winter has allowed traders to dismiss what appears to be a soft patch of data, making the market susceptible to a large pullback if the trend of weakness in data continues.

Market participants kept a close eye on developments out of Ukraine, following the most serious confrontation between Russia and the West over influence in Kiev and control of Crimea. A global investing flight to safety on Monday reversed sharply on Tuesday. Markets were calmer on Wednesday, but volatility was expected given the fluid situation in Ukraine.

"The market needs to re-calibrate after the sort of volatility we saw earlier this week, and we're seeing that today," said Peter Kenny, chief executive of financial technology company Clearpool Group in New York.

"We're left to the mercy of developments in Ukraine," he said, noting the news on Wednesday did not remove the uncertainty surrounding the situation in the Crimean peninsula.   Continuación...