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U.S. stocks fall on rekindling Syrian concerns; Dow down 0.21%

Stock MarketsAug 30, 2013 04:22PM ET
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This article has already been saved in your Saved Items - U.S. stocks fell on Friday after the U.S. government laid out a case to launch limited military strikes against Syria though no plans are etched in stone as of now.

At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 0.21%, the S&P 500 index fell 0.32%, while the Nasdaq Composite index fell 0.84%.

Earlier Friday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. and others were confident Syria recently used chemical weapons in its civil war though President Barack Obama said any decision to attack, if taken, would be swift and narrow with no boots on the ground in Syria.

Stocks fell on the news, as President Obama stressed no plans to attack have been made, and uncertainty over the fallout of a possible unilateral military move by the U.S. repelled investors away from risk-on equity positions.

Elsewhere, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan revised consumer sentiment index for August rose to 82.0. from a reading 80.0 in July, beating expectations for an uptick to 80.5.

Also in the U.S., a widely-watched Chicago purchasing managers' index rose to 53.0 this month from 52.3 in July, in line with expectations.

The indicators drew muted applause on Wall Street, as the data rekindled expectations that the Federal Reserve may begin to taper its USD85 billion monthly bond-buying program in September as opposed to later in the year.

Stimulus tools such as Federal Reserve asset purchases bolster stock prices by driving down interest rates, and talk of their dismantling often repels investors away from equities by fueling uncertainty as to how markets will react without monetary support.

Also Friday, the Bureau of Economic Analysis revealed that personal spending rose slightly less than expected in July, expanding 0.1% after an upwardly revised 0.6% increase the previous month. Analysts were expecting personal spending to rise 0.3% last month.

Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Procter & Gamble, up 0.75%, Wal-Mart Stores, up 0.70%, and AT&T, up 0.51%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included Alcoa, down 1.41%, UnitedHealth Group, down 1.01%, and Boeing, down 1.00%.

European indices, meanwhile, finished lower.

After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 1.13%, France's CAC 40 fell 1.32%, while Germany's DAX 30 finished down 1.12%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 finished down 1.08%.

U.S. markets will be closed on Monday for the country's Labor Day holiday.

U.S. stocks fall on rekindling Syrian concerns; Dow down 0.21%

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