US STOCKS-Wall St dips with Ukraine in focus

martes 12 de agosto de 2014 12:24 GYT

* S&P 500 more than 2 percent from record close

* Investors continue to watch geopolitical tensions

* Intercept, Exact Sciences jump on drug news

* Dow, S&P 500 down 0.2 percent, Nasdaq down 0.3 pct (Updates to midday trading)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Aug 12 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell modestly on Tuesday as uncertainty continued to swirl around the tense situation in Ukraine, even as many investors bet that it would not escalate dramatically.

Equities have come under pressure because of the unrest between Russia and Ukraine, with the S&P 500 at one point down about 4 percent from a record closing high hit in late July. The benchmark has recovered some of that decline, and rose over the past two sessions, but it remains more than 2.5 percent below its record, suggesting traders may see bargains in the market.

Wall Street struggled for direction on Tuesday, at one point inching into positive territory before dipping to session lows amid ongoing concerns about Ukraine after the country reported that Russia had massed 45,000 troops on its border. Russia said a convoy of 280 trucks carrying humanitarian aid had set off for Ukraine, and Western governments warned against using help as a pretext for an invasion.

"The situation seems a bit quieter now, with the aid going in, but it will take a while for this to play out, and this doesn't seem like a time for people to stick their necks out," said James Dunigan, chief investment officer at PNC Wealth Management in Philadelphia.   Continuación...