(CNBC) U.S. stocks slid on Wednesday, with benchmark indexes failing to maintain a second day of gains, after President Barack Obama cautioned against complacency on Russian moves in Ukraine.
"The statement by President Obama with regard to perhaps stiffening sanctions being applied to Russia" prompted equities to erase gains and turn lower, said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott.
Ukraine and the International Monetary Fund held bailout discussions Wednesday as the United States and European allies cautioned that they would take further steps if Russia escalates the crisis after annexing Crimea.
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Speaking in Brussels, Obama said Russia's actions had to be condemned.