Stocks dropped on Tuesday, as geopolitical worries and further sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis overshadowed upbeat earnings from corporations including pharmaceutical giants Merck and Pfizer. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed unofficially 70 points down, the S&P 500 slid 8 points and the Nasdaq lost 2 points. "Investors are clearly hyper-sensitive right now to things happening in Europe and Russia, and whether it's worsening or not," said Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG. President Obama said the United States was expanding measures targeting Russian energy, defense and financial sectors as Russia has continued to support separatists in Ukraine. Earlier, European Union governments announced sanctions to reduce Russia's ability to tap into bank financing and advanced technology. The EU sanctions, the most expansive so far, triggered what Greenhaus called a "knee-jerk" reaction, with Wall Street turning lower. Earlier, the markets had risen after Merck and Pfizer posted earnings that beat Wall Street's estimates.
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- Kate Gibson, CNBC.com