Stocks closed near their session lows Tuesday as global tensions
and domestic politics combined to keep the U.S. markets underwater
for a second day. A potential military action against Syria worried
investors, who abandoned equities for perceived safe havens like
gold and U.S. government bonds. Crude oil prices also surged,
rising nearly 3% to settle at an 18-month high of $109.01 per
barrel. The sharp rise for crude kept energy issues near positive
territory for much of the session, although by the end of the day,
utility stocks were the lone sector in the S&P 500 to finish
The pressure on stocks began yesterday afternoon when Secretary
of State John Kerry warned of a possible U.S. military strike in
response to Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons against
civilians. The selling pressure was amplified just before the open
when Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warned Congressional Republicans
the President will not negotiate over raising the nation's debt
ceiling, expected to be reached by mid-October.
Today's data included the Case-Shiller home price index, rising
0.9% in June versus expectations for a 1.0% gain. Consumer
confidence, however, jumped to a 81.5 reading this month, well
above forecasts expecting a slight decline in sentiment from July
levels to a 78.0 score. Same goes for the Richmond Fed
manufacturing survey jumping to a 14.0 reading from a negative 11.0
score in July and easily beating the market consensus looking for
Among commodities, December gold rose $27.20 to settle at
$1420.20 per ounce while September silver added 66 cents to finish
at $24.66 per ounce. September copper was up a penny to $3.33 per
pound. September natural gas was up 2 cents at $3.54 per 1 million
Here's where the U.S. markets stood at end-of-day:
Dow Jones Industrial Average down 170.33 (-1.14%) to
S&P 500 down 26.30 (-1.59%) to 1,630.48
Nasdaq Composite Index down 79.05 (-2.16%) to 3,578.52
Hang Seng Index down 0.59%
Shanghai China Composite Index up 0.34%
FTSE 100 Index down 0.79%
(+) JCP, Reverses early losses that initially followed Bill
Ackman liquidating his entire stake in the department-store
retailer at $12.90 a share.
(+) CPRX, Shares hit a 52-week high after FDA gives the
company's Firdapse drug candidate Breakthrough Therapy
(+) MOV, Beats estimates looking for $136 million in Q2 revenue
by reporting $138.3 million in quarterly revenue. Also approves 60%
increase in quarterly dividend.
(-) TIF, High-end jeweler sheds earlier gains from
better-than-expected Q2 earnings as the broader markets slide.
Also, 4.4% revenue growth was not enough to meet analyst
expectations. Issues in-line FY14 guidance.
(-) BBY, Founder and former CEO Richard Schulz discloses plans
to sell a portion of his stake in the consumer electronics retailer
starting this fall.
(-) IDTI, CEO Ted Tewksbury resigns, effective immediately.