US STOCKS-Wall St cuts losses as diplomacy ramps up in Ukraine
* EPL Oil to be acquired by Energy XXI for $2.3 bln
* Herbalife shares tumble on FTC investigation
* Dow off 0.28 pct, S&P down 0.2 pct, Nasdaq up 0.11 pct
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, March 12 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed on Wednesday, as equities recouped much of their earlier declines amid signs of progress in diplomatic attempts to ease tensions in Ukraine.
Stocks were pressured by concerns about a weakening economy in China. London copper prices, seen as a proxy for economic health due to its broad industrial use, rebounded after hitting their lowest level since July 2010.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in London on Friday ahead of a Sunday referendum on whether Ukraine's Crimean peninsula will join Russia or go independent. The legality of the referendum is disputed.
Spot gold hit a six-month high on its safe-haven appeal.
However, money is on the sidelines and investors worried about missing another leg-up in the five-year U.S. equity bull market are keeping indexes near recent highs, analysts say. Continuación...