U.S. stocks ended lower Friday as investors braced for a critical vote this weekend over the future of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula.
The region is holding a vote on Sunday, which is widely expected to back splitting off from Ukraine. The U.S. and Europe have warned Russia of consequences if it moves to seize the region.
Through much of Friday, the major stock indexes drifted between small gains and losses.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 43.22 points, or 0.3 percent, to 16,065.67.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dropped 5.21 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,841.13.
The Nasdaq composite lost 15.02 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,245.40.
For the week:
The Dow is down 387.05 points, or 2.4 percent.
The S&P 500 is down 36.91 points, or 1.9 percent.
The Nasdaq is down 90.83 points, or 2.1 percent.
For the year so far:
The Dow is down 510.99 points, or 3.1 percent.
The S&P 500 is down 7.2 points, or 0.4 percent.
The Nasdaq is up 68.81 points, or 1.7 percent.