US STOCKS-Dow, S&P 500 rise as Ukraine tensions ebb; US data helps
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* Dow up 0.2 pct; S&P 500 up 0.2 pct; Nasdaq off 0.2 pct (Updates to midday)
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, March 26 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks mostly edged higher on Wednesday as geopolitical tensions over Ukraine appeared to ease and the latest U.S. economic data pointed to improving conditions, though investors found few reasons to push shares up substantially.
Russia and the West drew a tentative line under the Ukraine crisis after U.S. President Barack Obama and his allies agreed to hold off on more damaging economic sanctions unless Moscow goes beyond the seizure of Crimea, as Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week that he didn't want to do.
The development seemed to limit the odds that the biggest East-West conflict since the Cold War could escalate further, removing a potential headwind from markets. While few U.S. companies have direct exposure to the region, investors had been worried about any fallout from prolonged tensions. Continuación...