Wall Street Falls on Syria, Interest Rate Worries

Wall Street Falls on Syria, Interest Rate Worries

The president's taunting added to the list of challenges for stocks, ranging from trade tensions with China to a user privacy crisis at Facebook that has lawmakers talking about more regulation of tech companies.

The reason? The data from the past few decades say that small energy companies are highly levered to the oil price, and the oil price is highly levered to the Middle East situation-especially to security concerns in the Arabian Peninsula, tensions involving countries like Syria, and threats to and from Iran. But the risk-off sentiment weighed on Treasury yields, pushing financial stocks down 1.4 percent.

In early regular trading, the Dow Jones industrial average sank as much as 1.1%, or 257 points, while the S&P 500 lost 0.6%.

At 11:15 a.m. ET the Dow Jones industrial average was up 290.33 points, or 1.21 percent, at 24,223.09.

The Nasdaq composite climbed 35.23 points, or 0.5 percent, to 6,950.34.

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The so-called FANG stocks - Facebook Inc, Amazon.com, Netflix Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google - were up between 1 percent and 2.6 percent ahead of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's testimony before US lawmakers on Tuesday and Wednesday.

And that latest fear is weighing on stock prices in early trading Wednesday.

Since at least the mid-1990s, the S&P SmallCap 600 Energy Index has risen much more than the oil price when oil has risen, and fallen much more than oil when oil has fallen.

Banks remained lower. Bank of America was down 1.4 percent and JPMorgan Chase gave up 1.2 percent.

The S&P 500 is down 60.45 points, or 2.3 percent.

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The Dow Jones industrial average rose 286 points, or 1.2 percent, to 24,472. The Nasdaq rose 13 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,107.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.81 percent.

Technology companies like Apple and Microsoft are bouncing back from their recent losses Monday, and banks are rising along with interest rates.

An early morning tweet by President Donald Trump implied the possibility of a military strike in Syria and set the downbeat tone for the session.

"The expectation was this could have gone one of two ways: he could have been aggressive about US tariffs or been conciliatory and it feels like he's more conciliatory", said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in NY.

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The S&P 500 index showed six new 52-week highs and one new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 36 new highs and 22 new lows.

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