(USA TODAY) The Standard & Poor's 500 index jumped to a new intraday record high Friday as Wall Street is poised to post gains for the week.
Russian stocks tumbled after Washington announced additional sanctions on key members of President Vladimir Putin's inner circle.
The S&P 500 index was up 0.5% to 1,881 after rising as high as 1,883.97 and setting a new intraday trading high. The benchmark index closed at a record high of 1,878.04 on March 7.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.6% to 16,435 and the Nasdaq composite index was flat at 4,319.
UKRAINE CRISIS:Obama announces more sanctions against Russia
It might sound surprising that the stock market is trading at an all-time high with all the uncertainty surrounding China's slowing growth and simmering tensions between Russia and the West. But these concerns also highlight the relative health of the U.S. economy and stock market, said Dan Veru, chief investment officer of Palisade Capital Management in Fort Lee, New Jersey.
"In a perverse way, these geopolitical issues drive home the fact that the U.S. has been overlooked. The U.S. was the first major economy to go into recession, and it's the first major country coming out of recession right now."
Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.77%.
Benchmark U.S. crude for May delivery was up 99 cents to $99.89 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract dropped 27 cents to settle Thursday at $98.90.
Russia's Micex index fell 2.1% after dropping as much as 3% in Moscow as Russia formally annexed Crimea and Putin signed into law the incorporation, calling it a "remarkable event." The Russian stock market has lost more 10% this month, wiping out billions in market capitalization.
The European Union signed Friday an agreement with Ukraine on closer relations.
"Today is but the opening act: we expect to soon sign the Agreement's remaining parts, not least the economic provisions," European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said Friday in a statement, referring to the EU's freshly inked Association Agreement with Ukraine.
"It recognizes the aspirations of the people of Ukraine to live in a country governed by values, by democracy and the rule of law, where all citizens have a stake in national prosperity, " he said.
Obama signed an executive order Thursday that gives the United States authority to impose sanctions on individuals as well as "key sectors of the Russian economy." The new order gives the Treasury Department the ability to target individuals and institutions in Russia's financial services, energy, metals and mining, defense and engineering sectors.
Two Russian banks including Bank Rossiya, the Russian lender which was put on the Treasury's sanctions list, said Visa and MasterCard stopped providing services to them. U.S. officials described Russia's 15th largest bank with $12 billion in assets as a "personal bank for senior officials of the Russian Federation."
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Russia's central bank sought to assure Friday that the blacklisting of Rossiya and its transactions by U.S. authorities "does not have a serious bearing on the lender's financial stability." However, it added that the government could "take necessary steps to support the lender and the interests of its depositors and creditors."
President Putin joked about the officials and lawmakers hit by Thursday's sanctions in a televised meeting and pledged to support the black-listed lender. He said in televised remarks that he sees no immediate need for further Russian retaliation. He even said sardonically that he would open an account in the targeted bank.
Elsewhere, Japanese markets were closed for a public holiday.Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 1.2% to 21,437. The Shanghai composite index in mainland China advanced 2.7% to 2,048.
European benchmarks pushed higher. Britain's FTSE 100 index added 0.4% and Germany's DAX index added 0.7%.
In other developments, ratings firm Fitch raised its outlook on the U.S.'s AAA credit-ranking to stable from negative. Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's raised their outlooks last year on the U.S. to stable from negative.
Fitch downgraded the outlook for Russia's credit rating fearing an economic fall-out from the Crimean crisis.
Fitch said in a statement released on Friday that it has revised the outlook for Russia's debt to reflect the potential impact of sanctions on Russia's economy. On Thursday, S&P warned of a potential downgrade, too.
On Thursday, the Dow gained or 0.7% to 16,331.05 and the S&P 500 rose 0.6% to 1,872.01. The Nasdaq composite climbed 0.3% to 4,319.29.
Also Thursday: The Conference Board index of leading indicators, a measure of U.S. economic health, showed a rise in February by the largest amount in three months, suggesting growth should bounce back following a harsh winter. Separately, U.S. jobless benefits rose to near pre-recession levels, suggesting stable job market in the world's largest economy.
Contributing: Associated Press