Syria Weighs on U.S. Stocks

Debt-Ceiling Worries Also Rattle Markets

(WSJ) -By Tomi Kigore

U.S. stocks opened broadly lower as fears of military intervention in Syria and concerns over the U.S. debt ceiling spurred investors to move away from risk.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 109 points, or 0.7%, to 14837 in early trade.

The S&P 500-stock index lost 15 points, or 0.9%, to 1642, and the Nasdaq Composite Index shed 37 points, or 1%, to 3621.

On Monday, the Dow fell 64 points, erasing an intraday gain of as much as 39 points, after Secretary of State John Kerry said the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons is a “moral obscenity” and that the Obama administration has developed conclusive evidence that chemical weapons were used last week. It was the clearest signal yet that the U.S. is considering an attack against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

 The escalating tensions over Syria also pushed up oil prices and other assets seen as havens during times of crisis, such as U.S. Treasurys and gold.

The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City home price index for June rose 12.1% over the same period a year ago, compared with expectations of a 12.2% increase.

Still on tap, the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index August, due out at 10 a.m. EDT, is seen slipping to 79.1 from 80.3 the previous month.