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US shares rebound after Ukraine flareup sparks selloff

US shares rebounded late Friday (Aug 15) to end mixed after an early bout of selling on news that Ukraine had shelled Russian armoured vehicles after they entered its territory.

NEW YORK: US shares rebounded late Friday (Aug 15) to end mixed after an early bout of selling on news that Ukraine had shelled Russian armoured vehicles after they entered its territory.

Worries that the incident would lead to a direct clash between the two ebbed after Moscow denied the incursion and Kiev's foreign minister said he would meet his Russian counterpart in Berlin on Sunday for talks alongside the top diplomats from France and Germany.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 50.67 points (0.30 per cent) at 16,662.91, after earlier having shed 0.50 per cent on the Ukraine news.

The broad-based S&P 500 finished off a bare 0.12 point (0.01 per cent) at 1,955.06, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite gained 11.92 (0.27 per cent) to 4,464.93.

US markets had risen for two days straight, shrugging off geopolitical threats in Iraq and Ukraine amid signs the US economy continued to grow steadily with little evident threat of inflation.

Fresh data signalled continued modest growth in the US economy, with a slowdown in the producer price index to a 1.7 per cent annual pace, and another 0.4 per cent monthly gain in industrial output in July, led by a 1.0 per cent rise in manufacturing.

Industrial capacity utilization rose to a post-recession high of 79.2 per cent, which analysts said was still below any level that would force prices higher.

"Two months of low inflation should dampen concern the Fed needs to raise rates soon," said Chris Low of FTN Financial.

Retailer JC Penney's shares fell 2.5 per cent despite the company reporting that its fiscal third quarter, ending August 2, had a narrowed loss and growing sales, as analysts questioned whether the company could sustain its turnaround.

Coca-Cola's purchase of a $2.15 billion, 16.7 per cent share of Monster Beverage sent the energy drink maker's shares soaring 30.5 per cent to $93.49.

Shares of Coke, which locked in its distribution contract for Monster Energy in the deal, were up 1.7 per cent to $40.88.

Big banana company Chiquita Brands added 0.8 per cent to $13.63 a day after it rejected a $13 a share takeover offer by two Brazilian firms, calling it "inadequate". The company left open the possibility of fielding a higher bid, saying it was not going to open talks with Safra Group and Cutrale Group "at this time."

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 2.35 per cent from 2.39 per cent late Thursday, while the 30-year dropped to 3.14 per cent from 3.19 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely