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U.S. stocks little changed after jobs survey

A trader works on the floor of the

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on the afternoon of Tuesday, March 4, 2014, in Manhattan. Better sentiment rushed through global markets Wednesday after Russia's President Vladimir Putin said his country was not seeking to escalate the conflict with Ukraine. Credit: Getty Images / Andrew Burton

Calm returned to the stock market Wednesday after two days of volatile trading.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index traded within a range of about five points, or about a quarter of a percentage point, for the whole day, before ending a fraction lower. Investors weighed a tepid hiring survey, some strong company earnings and falling oil prices.

Stocks plunged Monday, then surged to a record high on Tuesday as tensions in Ukraine flared, then eased.

The S&P 500 index fell less than 0.01 percent to 1,873.81. Its close on Tuesday of 1,873.91 was a record high.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 35.70 points to 16,360.18. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.14 percent to 4,357.97.

Energy stocks were the biggest losers Wednesday. They fell after the price of oil dropped for a second day as tensions eased in Ukraine and the threat of economic sanctions against Russia appeared to recede.

Exxon Mobil fell $2.72 to $93.80. The company said it planned to cut its capital spending by 6 percent this year.

In government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note was unchanged at 2.70 percent. The price of oil fell $1.88, or 1.8 percent, to close at $101.45 a barrel. -- AP

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