U.S. stocks were little changed after wavering between gains and losses Friday, as market boost from an encouraging non-farm payroll report was offset by growing concerns over Ukraine.
In midday, the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 9.66 points, or 0.06 percent, to 16,549.21. The broader S&P 500 gained 1.09 points, or 0.06 percent, to 1,884.77. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 6.20 points, or 0.15 percent, to 4,133.65.
Following the release of stronger-than-expected nonfarm payrolls report for April, the market opened higher before toggling in and out of negative territory.
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 288,000, according to the Labor Department, the largest gain since January 2012 and topping analysts' expectations of around 210,000.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 6.3 percent in April, the lowest level in five and a half years.
"The labor market remains surprisingly and resiliently strong," said Bart van Ark, chief economist at the Conference Board, a non- profit economic research institute based in New York.
Hiring, which perhaps would have happened earlier if not for the widespread inclement weather, aided the gain this month, but the more important point was that the economy had been gathering strength for some time, he said in a note Friday.
However, investor appetite for risky stocks was subdued by continuing uncertainties after the Ukrainian government on Friday reportedly launched an operation in the eastern town of Sloviansk against pro-Russia activists.
Among other data, new orders for manufactured goods in March, up two consecutive months, increased 1.1 percent, the Commerce Department said Friday, still trailing analyst estimates.
The three major stock indices are on track to end the week with modest gains.
On the previous trading day, U.S. stocks ended in narrowly mixed territory, as investors grew cautious ahead of the closely watched non-farm report.