Stocks fall over Mideast tensions; oil prices spike.
The U.S. stock market tumbled on Monday, as Mideast tensions dampened investors’ appetite for riskier assets following weekend attacks on Saudi oil fields.
All of Wall Street’s major indices finished in negative territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) fell 143.52 points, or 0.5%, to 27,076.00.
The broad S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:SPY) closed down 0.3% at 2,997.93. Most sectors finished in negative territory, with the notable exception being energy. Shares of energy companies spiked almost 4% as crude prices headed for their biggest single-day advance on record.
Meanwhile, the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index (NYSEARCA:QQQ) fell 0.3% to 8,153.54.
A measure of 30-day volatility known as the CBOE VIX (NYSEARCA:VXX) rose sharply on Monday, briefly trading above 15.00 on the scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historic average. VIX settled up 7.6% at 14.78.
Commodity markets surged on Monday, as Saudi Arabia struggled to bring 5.7 million barrels of crude back online following weekend attacks on its oil fields.
In economic data, Chinese industrial production growth weakened to just 4.4% annually in August, the slowest in 17 years, the National Bureau of Statistics reported. A separate gauge of retail sales showed annual growth of 7.5%, which was slightly below forecasts. Annual fixed-asset investment grew 5.5% in the first eight months of the year.
The Final Word: Monetary policy is back on the agenda Tuesday, as the Federal Reserve kicks off its next rate meeting in Washington. There’s a more than 65% chance that FOMC members will lower interest rates on Wednesday, according to CME Fed Fund futures prices.