By Susan Mathew and Noel Randewich

(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main stock indexes fell on Friday as escalating tensions in Ukraine and U.S. statements of an imminent Russian invasion prompted investors to dump risky assets in the run-up to a long weekend.

Most of the major S&P 500 sectors were in the red, with energy shares leading losses due to weaker oil prices. [O/R]

Russian news agencies reported a blast occurred in the eastern Ukraine city of Donetsk and that separatists planned to evacuate residents from the region to Russia due to heavy shelling.

Western countries said that Russia was continuing military build-up around Ukraine, adding the country may use the current developments to justify an incursion into Ukraine. Russia has said it has no intention to attack and accused the West of fear-mongering.

Speculations about the Federal Reserve’s next move have also weighed on equities. New York Fed Bank President John Williams said earlier in the day it would be appropriate to hike interest rates in March, without mentioning the magnitude.

“This is a confused market, confused about Ukraine, confused about how aggressive the Fed is going to be, and pretty much ignoring very strong earnings results from the fourth quarter,” said Tim Ghriskey, senior portfolio strategist at Ingalls & Snyder in New York.

Expiration of monthly options contracts was also seen adding to the volatility ahead of the U.S. market holiday on Monday for Presidents’ Day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.31% at 34,206.95 points, while the S&P 500 lost 0.37% to 4,364.21.

The Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.73% to 13,616.49.

The indexes were on course for their second straight weekly losses, buffeted by rising tensions between Moscow and the West over Ukraine.

Intel Corp slipped 5% after the chipmaker forecast its profit margin to drop this year and then be steady for several years as it invests in new technologies and factories to meet rising chip demand.

About 78% of the 417 S&P 500 companies have in this reporting season posted quarterly earnings above analyst estimates as per Refinitiv data.

Roku Inc tumbled 23% after the streaming platform’s disappointing quarterly revenue and first-quarter outlook.

DraftKings Inc shed 18% after the sports-betting company forecast a bigger-than anticipated 2022 loss.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.48-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.62-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 8 new 52-week highs and 28 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 15 new highs and 379 new lows.

(Reporting by Susan Mathew and Devik Jain in Bengaluru, and by Noel Randewich in Oakland, Calif.; Editing by Anil D’Silva, Maju Samuel Aditya Soni and Aurora Ellis)