Wall Street closes lower

US stocks reverse gains as US President talks tough on Russia.

US stocks have closed more than 0.5% weaker, after turning lower in afternoon trade despite a report that showed US durable goods orders climbed higher than expected in February.

Markets had started the day about 0.5% higher but dived after US President Barack Obama warned that the crisis in Ukraine was far from over.

By the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 98.89 points, or 0.60%, to 16,268.99.

The broad-based S&P 500 lost 13.06 points, or 0.70%, to 1,852.56, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 60.69 points, or 1.43%, to 4,173.58.

It is the fourth straight day the Nasdaq has lagged other major indices as concerns swirl that valuations in the tech sector may have reached bubble territory.

Hurting sentiment was the eagerly anticipated debut of Candy Crush developer King Digital, with the mobile games maker slumping over 10% upon listing.

Facebook, too, was a major laggard, with its shares dipping more than 5% after the company sealed the $US2 billion ($2.16bn) purchase of virtual reality company Oculus.

In economic data news, durable goods orders jumped 2.2% in February from the prior month, to their highest level since November. The number was better than the 0.8% rise expected by analysts, but enthusiasm was dampened as the gains were driven almost entirely by airline orders.

Stripping out transport, durable goods orders climbed just 0.2%.

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