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Tension eases in Ukraine, giving stock market a boost

The S&P 500 rose 28.18 points, or 1.53 percent, to close at 1,873.91. It was the biggest gain for the benchmark index since October. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 227.85 points, or 1.41 percent, to 16,395.88 and the Nasdaq composite rose 74.67 points, or 1.75 percent, to 4,351.97.
Published: March 5, 2014

So what is an investor supposed to do in the face of this volatility?

Now might be the time to revisit whether you have the investments you want, given the market’s rise and volatility, said Stephen J. Carl, head equity trader at The Williams Capital Group.

Hedge investments

“Maybe take some positions off the table, and you hedge yourself a little bit, for the chance that if it does go the other way and there is a downturn,” he said.

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine threatened to destabilize Europe and upset oil markets. And it wasn’t clear which countries might be drawn into the conflict if it got worse. Wall Street hates uncertainty, and on Monday that’s all there was. So investors were relieved when Putin appeared to back down on Tuesday.

“I think the reaction today is probably more hopeful than rational,” said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial.

McMillan noted that Putin made his point with Ukraine just a week after the Sochi Olympics ended. Hosting the Olympics was a way for Putin to show that Russia was open for business, but the conflict with Ukraine threw that away, McMillan said.

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