U.S. stock markets declined over concerns that the ongoing crises in Ukraine could escalate after President Barack Obama denounced Russia’s “brute force” to intimate its neighbors.  Obama also vowed that the United States “will never waver” in supporting its NATO allies against Russia’s aggression.

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“America and the world and Europe have an interest in a strong and responsible Russia, not a weak one. But that does not mean that Russia can run roughshod over its neighbors. Just because Russia has a deep history with Ukraine does not mean it should be able to dictate Ukraine’s future. No amount of propaganda can make right something the world knows is wrong,” according to President Obama.

The President also urged NATO allies to boost their own efforts, upgrade their military capabilities, and help their Eastern allies. According to him, “Going forward, every NATO member state must step up and carry its share of the burden.”

Commenting on the conflict in Ukraine, Frederic Dickson, chief investment strategist at D.A. Davidson & Co. told Bloomberg that investors worldwide have been waiting for the United States and European Union’s reaction regarding the annexation of Crimea by Russia beyond sanctions. Dickson said, “Any hints of escalation in terms of rhetoric or action would probably trigger investors to stand back and take recent profits.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 16,280.55 (-0.53%)
  • S&P 500- 1,853.88 (-0.63 %)
  • NASDAQ- 4,178.35 (-1.32%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,160.62 (-1.48%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,130.17 (+0.37%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,605.30 (+0.01%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,448.58 (+1.18%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 14,477.16 (+0.37%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 21,887.75 (+0.72%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,171.05 (-0.16%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) dropped nearly 7% to $60.38 per share today. The social network giant announced its agreement to acquire Oculus, a virtual reality technology company for $2 billion in cash and stock as part of its effort to seek new growth opportunities in the future.

King Digital Entertainment PLC (NYSE:KING), the maker of popular online mobile game Candy Crush Saga, fell more than 15% to $19.00 during its initial public offering (IPO). The company set its offering price at $22.50 a share.

The shares of DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH) rose more than 6% to $62.09 a share on reports that its CEO Charlie Ergen contacted Mike White, CEO of DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV) and discussed a potential merger. The shares of DIRECTV increased over 5% to $77.34 per share.