MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks End Lower Amid Geopolitical Tensions

By Dow Jones Business News, 
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By Barbara Kollmeyer and Anora Mahmudova, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stocks closed lower on Monday as investors remained jittery amid escalating war in Gaza and possible tougher sanctions against Russia.

The death toll inside Gaza mounted over the weekend as Israel stepped up its ground war, while European policy makers debated tougher sanctions against Russia in the wake of the downing of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet.

The S&P 500 (SPX) closed 4.6 points, or 0.2%, lower at 1,973.63, with 9 of 10 sectors in the red. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) shed 48.45 points, or 0.3%, to 17,051.73. The Nasdaq Composite (RIXF) slipped by 7.44 points, or 0.2% at 4,424.70.

Read the recap of MarketWatch's live blog of today's stock-market action.

Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial, said that investors do not react to geopolitical news unless they think it would impact the earnings potential of companies.

"There is a notion that markets are callous to horrendous events in Gaza and Ukraine, but markets are not think-tanks. At the end of the day, it's all about companies' abilities to earn a profit," Krosby said.

There were no economic events for Monday and a scant amount of earnings, leaving investors to face down a day of rising global tensions.

President Barack Obama on Monday called for an immediate ceasefire to the fighting in Gaza and said he was concerned with the rising number of Palestinian civilian deaths and the loss of Israeli lives.

On the downed Malaysia Airlines plane, Obama pressed Russia to use its influence with separatists in Ukraine to allow international investigators full access to the crash site.

Meanwhile, European threats of tougher sanctions against Russia weighed on stocks in the region.

Also read: Why markets shrug off Malaysia Airlines plane crash, Gaza and other geopolitifal flashpoints

European stocks fell on Monday. Russia's blue-chip MICEX index dropped 2.7%, moving below 1,400. Should that hold, it would close below that level for the first time since mid-May, according to FactSet. Asian markets closed mixed.

Among commodities, gold(GCQ4) moved higher, while oil futures(CLQ4) rose to their highest in nearly three weeks on ongoing geopolitical concerns and as Libya announced a drop in its production.

Earnings reports

Hasbro Inc.( HAS ) fell 2.7% after the toymaker posted an 8% rise in revenue, but missed revenue estimates.

Shares of EMC Corp.( EMC ) jumped 4.3% on reports Elliott Management Corp. has taken a stake of more than $1 billion in the data-storage giant and plans to push it toward a breakup.

For more on notable movers, read Movers & Shakers column.

Netflix Inc. ( NFLX ) shares rose 1.5% in late trading after the video-streaming company reported a 25% rise in earnings thanks to strong subscriber gains. Results narrowly beat estimates.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. ( CMG ) shares jumped 8% in after-hours, after the fast-food restaurant chain reported better-than-expected earnings.

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This article appears in: Commodities

Referenced Stocks: CMG , EMC , HAS , MOSX , NFLX

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