* Russian troops in Ukraine spur concern
* U.S. GDP revised higher in Q2, jobless claims fall
* Banks in focus after reports of cyber attacks
* Indexes down: Dow 0.25 pct, S&P 0.17, Nasdaq 0.26 pct
(Adds background on Ukraine, economic data, updates indexes to
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Aug 28 U.S. stocks edged lower on
Thursday after the latest tension between Ukraine and Russia
snapped the focus of investors back to the volatile region, but
U.S. economic data helped curb losses.
Worries over tension abroad had largely receded from Wall
Street, with major indexes seeing few negative days over the
past two weeks, and the Dow and S&P both hitting record highs.
Ukraine's security and defense council said the border town
of Novoazovsk and other areas of Ukraine's south-east had fallen
under the control of Russian forces, together with rebels. The
U.S. accused Russia of active fighting in Eastern Ukraine, and
said it was considering a range of responses, including more
While few U.S. companies have heavy exposure to either
country, investors are concerned about the potential response by
the United States and Europe to any escalation in hostility.
A trio of economic reports pointed to improving conditions
and helped mitigate declines. The second reading of gross
domestic product showed the U.S. economy rebounded more strongly
than initially thought in the second quarter, while jobless
claims fell for a second straight week.
In addition, July pending home sales rose far more than had
been expected to an 11-month high. The PHLX housing index
lost 0.4 percent, but was off earlier lows.
"The data did cheer things up, but the stuff that is
happening in the Ukraine is worrisome and I'm glad to at least
see a little bit of red out there today because of that," said
Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst, Fort Pitt Capital
Group in Pittsburgh.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 42.44 points or
0.25 percent, to 17,079.57, the S&P 500 lost 3.38 points
or 0.17 percent, to 1,996.74 and the Nasdaq Composite
dropped 11.93 points or 0.26 percent, to 4,557.70.
Since falling to a near three-month low on Aug. 7, the
benchmark S&P index had risen for 11 of the prior 14 sessions,
pushing it above 2,000 for the previous two days. However,
recent daily moves have been slight and trading volume has been
among the lightest of the year.
An index of major shares in Europe, which has more exposure
to the region, closed down 0.6 percent. If European
Reconomic growth is depressed by the conflict, that could have
an indirect impact on the United States. Russia's
dollar-denominated RTS index slumped 3.3 percent while
the Market Vectors Russia Exchange-Traded Fund fell 3.1
percent to $24.37.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation said it was
investigating media reports that several U.S. financial firms
have been victims of recent cyber attacks. JPMorgan Chase & Co
said it was investigating a possible attack; shares fell
0.7 percent to $59.16. The S&P financial index lost 0.4
percent as the worst performing of the 10 major S&P groups.
Abercrombie & Fitch Co lost 4.8 percent to $41.87
after the retailer's second-quarter same-store sales fell more
than expected. Williams-Sonoma Inc tumbled 12 percent to
$65.93 a day after reporting its results and giving an outlook.
Volume continued to be on the light side, with about 4.16
billion shares traded on U.S. exchanges, well below the 5.34
billion average so far this month, according to data from BATS
Declining stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by
1,735 to 1,265, while on the Nasdaq, declines beat advances
1,761 to 905.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak. Editing by Andre Grenon)