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Wall Street falls on Syria concerns, interest rate worries

Reuters  |  NEW YORK 

By April Joyner

(Reuters) - Wall Street stocks fell on Wednesday as possible U.S. military action against stoked investor concerns about geopolitical risk to the American and minutes from the sparked worries about a more hawkish view on interest-rate increases.

The decline followed two days of gains, driven by easing concerns about trade tensions between the and

On Wednesday, U.S. warned of imminent military action in Syria, declaring missiles "will be coming."

The rising tensions sent surging, boosting 1 percent. But the risk-off sentiment weighed on Treasury yields , pushing financial stocks <.SPSY> down 1.3 percent.

"There's general nervousness about what might happen with any strikes and the potential escalation of tensions with Russia," said Anwiti Bahuguna, at in

The Wall Street indexes edged even lower after minutes from the showed concern among a few of its members that rising might require a faster pace of interest rate hikes than anticipated.

Members of the Federal Reserve voted unanimously to raise borrowing costs by a quarter percentage point and expressed confidence that the would strengthen and would rise in coming months.

"The minutes were modestly negative," said John Carey, at in "People had been speculating that due to all the turbulence in the market because of geopolitical uncertainties that the Fed might consider pausing or slowing down the interest rate increases."

The <.DJI> fell 218.55 points, or 0.9 percent, to 24,189.45, the 500 <.SPX> lost 14.68 points, or 0.55 percent, to 2,642.19 and the Composite <.IXIC> dropped 25.28 points, or 0.36 percent, to 7,069.03.

Investors said they are looking to earnings season to provide a sustained boost to U.S. stocks. , and will report quarterly results on Friday.

Analysts expect quarterly profits for 500 companies to rise 18.5 percent from a year ago, which would be the biggest gain in seven years, according to I/B/E/S.

Industrial distributor fell 6.2 percent after its earnings missed expectations. The stock was the biggest decliner on the S&P, followed by industry peer WW Grainger's 4.4 percent drop.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.03-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.06-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.

The 500 posted six new 52-week highs and two new lows; the Composite recorded 46 new highs and 27 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 6.04 billion shares, compared with the 7.29 billion-share average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

(Additional reporting by in Bengaluru; Editing by and Dan Grebler)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 12 2018. 03:49 IST