NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks remained negative early afternoon Thursday as geopolitical caution sparked by Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko's statement that Russia has invaded Ukraine helped trigger a flight-to-safety rally. Poroshenko called an emergency meeting of the nation's security council and canceled a foreign trip, declaring that "Russian forces have entered Ukraine."

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"The crisis in Ukraine returned to bite the markets again on Thursday," said Julian Jessop, chief global economist at Capital Economics.

Markets were off session lows. The Dow Jones Industrial AverageI:DJI was down 0.19% to 17,089.80. The S&P 500I:GSPC was down 0.1% to 1,998.04.The NasdaqI:IXIC was down 0.13% to 4,563.50.

The search for safety pushed the Guggenheim CurrencyShares JapaneseYen Trust (FXY) - Get Report up 0.14% to $93.90 and the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) - Get Report up 0.6% to $124.07.

The United States Oil Fund (USO) - Get Report  rose 0.71% to $35.28 and the Guggenheim CurrencyShares Euro Trust (FXE) - Get Report fell 0.18% to $129.89, influenced by worries about the impact rising Russia-Ukraine tensions could have on the single-currency bloc and how the fallout could affect global oil exports.

In London, the FTSE 100 slipped 0.36% to 6,805.80. In Frankfurt, the DAX declined 1.12% to 9,462.56. The CAC in Paris gave up 0.66% to stand at 4,366.04.

U.S. economic data was better than expected, with the second estimate of U.S. second-quarter GDP revised up to 4.2% vs. the 4% consensus estimate. Weekly initial jobless claims fell to 298,000 last week vs. the average estimate of 300,000. Pending home sales rebounded by 3.3% in July. The Kansas City Fed Labor Market Conditions Indicators showed continued improvement, increasing in July to -0.6.

In Thursday's corporate news, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) - Get Report slipped 0.6% to $59.23. TheWall Street Journal reported that the FBI is investigating a computer-hacking attack on JPMorgan Chase $(JPM) and as many as four other banks.

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) - Get Report lost 3.81% to $42.34 after reporting a 7% drop in total same-store sales and 6% decline in revenue to $891 million. Dollar General (DG) - Get Report rose 1.6% to $64.72 after posting second-quarter earnings of 83 cents a share, which matched estimates. The company on Thursday reiterated its bid for rival Family Dollar (FDO) . Earlier this month, Dollar General bid about $8.95 billion for Family Dollar in an attempt to trump Dollar Tree (DLTR) - Get Report , which agreed to acquire Family Dollar for $8.5 billion in July.

The S&P 500 ended Wednesday almost where it was after Tuesday's closing -- just above 2,000, after flitting in and out of positive territory throughout the day in the absence of any new economic catalysts.

--By Andrea Tse in New York

Follow @AndreaTTse