Ukraine's military claimed it destroyed part of a convoy of Russian armored vehicles that entered Ukrainian territory overnight.
Predictably, Russia denied the incident, and the UN said it could not verify the reports. NATO, meanwhile, said Russian forces did make it into Ukraine, but called the move an incursion rather than an invasion.
Nonetheless, US markets were shaken off their morning highs, and the S&P traded as low as 1,941.50.
Safe-haven assets like US Treasuries and German Bunds also rallied, as did the VIX.
However, the negativity didn't last as the major indices grinded higher throughout the day, and the S&P finished flat on the day, down just a tenth of a point.
Sector-wise, the action was most certainly mixed, with weakness in financials and surprising strength in the biotech sector, which has enjoyed a steady rally over the past week.
On the economics front, the August Empire Manufacturing Survey came in at 14.7 vs. the 20.00 expected.
July Core PPI core was 1.7%,while the core reading, which excludes food and energy prices, was 1.6%. Both numbers were directly in line with consensus expectations.
The preliminary August University of Michigan Sentiment Index was 79.2, missing the 82.5 expected by economists.
Monster Beverage (MNST) was up 30.5% today to $93.49 after announcing a strategic partnership with Coca-Cola (KO). As part of the deal, Coca-Cola is taking a 17% stake in Monster.
Retailer Dillard's (DDS) took a 8.2% hit, finishing at $106.11. The retailer reported second-quarter results that missed analysts' expectations.
The weakness at Dillard's helped drive retail stocks down today, with the Merrill Lynch Retail HOLDRS ETF (RTH) dropping 0.6%.
And on the IPO front, burger lovers cheered Reuters' report that the Shake Shack chain is gearing up to go public.
Tomorrow's Financial Outlook
The economic calendar is pretty light for Monday. The August NAHB Housing Market Index will be reported at 10:00 a.m. ET. Housing stocks have been trending lower since February, but have bounced in the past week, so there could be volatility in that sector.
Globally, China's July Property Prices and the Eurozone Trade Balance will be reported.
Urban Outfitters (URBN) is the only company of note reporting earnings Monday.
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