Stocks fall as U.S. makes case for attacking Syria
“The only variable that really matters is the possibility of a Syrian intervention. A portion of the volatility we saw this week was certainly related to news flow regarding the Middle East,” said Lawrence Creatura, portfolio manager at Federated Investors.
“We’ve had a strong run this year and we are entering a seasonally treacherous time of year. Historically, autumn, and the months of September and October specifically, can be treacherous and unforgiving,” Creatura said.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 5.20 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,632.96, down 1.8 percent for the week. The Nasdaq composite fell 30.43 points, or 0.8 percent, to 3,589.87. It slid 1.9 percent for the week.
“Skeleton crews are manning the trading desks. I wouldn’t trust this week’s moves too much. It’s like a household when the parents are away, and teenagers are running the show,” Federated’s Creatura said.
The reports were “mixed, with some positive and some negative data, which is fairly typical of recent reports. Any data we receive today will really be evaluated more properly when everyone returns on Tuesday,” Creatura said.
Stocks had briefly improved after the release of the Chicago business barometer, or PMI, which increased to 53 in August from 52.3 in July. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected the index to climb to 53.5.
“Consumers and corporations have remained very cautious about spending, as higher taxes and the government sequester (reduced spending) have started to work their way through the economy,” Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in a morning note.
Crude also extended losses, with oil futures down for a second session. Futures for October delivery declined $1.15, or 1.1 percent, to $107.65 a barrel.
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