Wall Street Skid Continues

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks shifted between small gains and losses in morning trading on Wall Street Tuesday as tensions escalated in Ukraine over Russia's decision to send forces into that nation's eastern regions.

The S&P 500 rose 0.1% as of 10:21 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 118 points, or 0.4%, to 33,961 and the Nasdaq rose 0.2%.

Major indexes are coming off of two days of losses as investors closely watch the crisis in Ukraine. The White House is referring to Russian troop deployments in eastern Ukraine as an " invasion " after initially hesitating to use the term. That's a red line that President Joe Biden has said would result in the U.S. levying severe sanctions against Moscow.

The move by Russia to recognize recognized the independence of several regions in Eastern Ukraine and send in forces has raised fears that a full-scale invasion is near.

The crisis in Ukraine has made for volatile energy prices over the last few weeks and U.S. crude oil prices are up 2.3% on Tuesday. Russia is a major energy producer and a military conflict could disrupt energy supplies. Germany has withdrawn a key document needed for certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia.

European markets, which have been particularly sensitive to developments in the Russia-Ukraine crisis, were mostly higher.

Retailers and other companies that rely on direct consumer spending fell broadly. Home Depot shed 5.4% as concerns over the home-improvement retailer's profit margins outweighed an otherwise solid quarterly financial report.

Technology stock gains helped offset losses elsewhere in the market.

Bond yields rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.95% from. 1.92% late Friday. Stock and bond markets were closed on Monday for the Presidents Day holiday.

Investors also focused on the latest round of corporate report cards, especially from department stores. Macy's rose 8.3% after reporting strong fourth-quarter financial results. Dillard's rose 4.9% after handily beating analysts' profit forecasts.

Mattress maker Tempur Sealy International fell 14.2% after reporting disappointing financial results.

Deal making also helped lift several stocks. Television station owner Tegna rose 7.4% following a report that it's being bought by Standard General. Book publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt rose 15.1% on news it's being bought by Veritas Capital.