* ADP private-sector employment data short of expectations
* Financial stocks lead the S&P 500's gainers
* Dow off 0.2 pct; S&P 500 flat; Nasdaq up 0.1 pct
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, March 5 U.S. stocks barely moved on
Wednesday, a day after the S&P 500 hit a new all-time high, as
investors shrugged off soft data on jobs and the services sector
while keeping an eye on developments in Ukraine.
The market showed little reaction to the Federal Reserve's
Beige Book, which said severe weather across much of the United
States took a toll on shopping and consumer spending in recent
weeks. That led to slower economic growth or output in some
areas of the country, according to the Fed's report of anecdotal
information on the U.S. economy.
U.S. private-sector employers added fewer workers than
expected in February while the services sector continued to
grow, albeit at a slower pace. A harsh winter has allowed
traders to dismiss what appears to be a soft patch of data,
making the market susceptible to a large pullback if the trend
of weakness in data continues.
Market participants kept a close eye on developments out of
Ukraine, following the most serious confrontation between Russia
and the West over influence in Kiev and control of Crimea.
Investors' global flight to safety on Monday was reversed
sharply on Tuesday. Markets were calmer on Wednesday, but
volatility was expected, given the fluid situation in Ukraine.
"With earnings out of the way here, we are in sort of a
quiet period. The focus is on Ukraine and any news coming out of
there would be a major market-moving event one way or another,"
said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Asset
Management in Bedford Hills, New York.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 36.66 points or
0.22 percent, to 16,359.22. The S&P 500 dipped 0.73 of a
point or 0.04 percent, to 1,873.18. The Nasdaq Composite
added 2.902 points or 0.07 percent, to 4,354.874.
The S&P financial sector index rose 0.6 percent and
led the S&P 500's gainers. Bank of America Corp shares
gained 2.9 percent to $17.20. Morgan Stanley rose 2.6
percent to $31.91.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq index was slightly higher,
outperforming the broader market. Facebook shares rose to
an all-time high of $71.97. The stock was up 4.3 percent at
$71.78 in afternoon trading.
Honeywell International shares also hit an all-time
intraday high of $95.85 after the company set a target of
increasing overall sales to more than $50 billion by 2018 as it
spends $10 billion on acquisitions. Honeywell is a diversified
manufacturer of aerospace parts and climate control and security
systems. The stock was up 0.4 percent at $94.97.
Canadian Solar Inc slid 12.5 percent to $38.28
after the solar panel maker warned of a drop in revenue this
quarter as about $100 million in sales were deferred after a
Smith & Wesson Holding Co jumped 18.2 percent to
$13.95 after the gun maker reported a 42 percent surge in its
fiscal third-quarter profit.