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Traders move fast to shore up defenses ahead of weekend

Trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Jin Lee | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Traders immediately jumped into a defensive posture ahead of the weekend, selling stocks and adding to bond positions after Ukrainian artillery destroyed part of a Russian armored column inside Ukraine.

Stocks had been higher with global equities and yields had been carving out a new low before news of the attack. But after the reports, the Dow wiped out more than 100 points and was trading lower. The 10-year yield broke down to 2.31 percent, a level last seen 14 months ago.

Read MoreUkraine attacks Russian incursion, jolting markets

Oil, which has barely reacted to the Ukraine situation in the past, jumped 1 percent.