Closing Bell: Stocks Slip After Secretary of State Kerry Slams Syria

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013. U.S. stocks fell, giving the Dow Jones Industrial Average its longest slump in 13 months, as minutes of the Federal Reserve's July meeting showed officials support stimulus cuts this year if the economy improves. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Though news of handful of corporate deals pushed stocks higher early Monday, the markets closed slightly lower after to Secretary of State John Kerry boosted the pressure on Syria, saying evidence of a major chemical weapons attack against its rebels was "undeniable" and sketching out the possibility of a U.S. military response.

Also pushing prices lower were weak economic news and ongoing concern that the Federal Reserve will soon begin scaling back its economic stimulus.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 64 points, or 0.4 percent, to 14,946, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) lost 6 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,656 and the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) dipped fractionally to 3,657.

Amgen surged nearly 8 percent, the biggest gain in the Standard & Poor's 500 index, after the biotech giant said it plans to buy Onyx Pharmaceuticals for $10.4 billion.
Amgen (AMGN) gained $8.15 to $113.75 after hitting an all-time high of $116.25 earlier. Onyx (ONXX), the drugmaker it plans to acquire for $125 a share, rose 5.6 percent, to $123.49.

In another drug deal, AstraZeneca agreed to privately held U.S. biotech company Amplimmune for up to $500 million. The move is a way for AstraZeneca to boost its pipeline of cancer-fighting drugs. Shares of AstraZeneca (AZN) fell 0.4 percent to $50.47

In economic news, the government reported that orders for long-lasting manufactured goods plunged 7.3 percent last month, the steepest drop in nearly a year. Demand for commercial aircraft sank and businesses spent less on computers and electrical equipment.

The Federal Reserve is to start a two-day meeting Sept. 17 at which officials will discuss easing Fed support for the economy. Congress returns from vacation next week and will have to take up a new budget before the new fiscal year starts on Oct. 1.

More Stocks in the News:
  • Anadarko Petroleum (APC) climbed 1.4 percent to $91.02. The oil and gas producer said late Sunday that it's selling part of its stake in a natural-gas site off the shores of Mozambique for $2.64 billion.
  • Tesla Motors (TSLA), the electric-car maker, climbed 1.5 percent, to $164.22, following reports that, in California, Tesla's Model S outsold Cadillac, Porsche, Jaguar and other brands in June.
  • Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies (UTX), is in a deal with the Pentagon to build engines for F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in a deal valued at more than $1 billion, according to sources familiar with the matter. Nonetheless, United Tech shares slipped 0.5 percent to $102.30.
  • In another deal, the Pritzker Organization said it will acquire scrap metal broker TMS International (TMS) for $17.50 a share, a premium of about 12 percent to TMS's Friday close of $15.57. TMS shares gained more than 12 percent to $17.48.
What to Watch Tuesday:
  • Standard & Poor's releases the S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices for June and the second quarter at 9 a.m. Eastern time.
  • The Conference Board releases the Consumer Confidence Index for August at 10 a.m.
These major companies are scheduled to report quarterly corporate earnings:
  • DSW (DSW)
  • Tiffany & Co. (TIF)
- Compiled from staff and wire reports.

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Why don"t we ever learn to stay out of Middle East conflicts? They cost us precious American lives, which our government doesn't seem to care about and billions of dollars we don't have and/or could use here at home. No matter what we do over there, the people we do try to help hate and/or end up hating us anyway. As far as the market goes, someone can fart and it will shoot up or down at the drop of a hat. You try and figure it out!

August 27 2013 at 4:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Here we go again ... getting into a war in Syria. Our govt. just can't keep from wanting to become the all knowing, universal police department for the world, and we US citizens are simply along for the ride and footing the bill. Why in the world would we furnish money and weapons to a bunch of rebels that we know little about? We're doomed to the same crappy history we've had for the last several years, and that's why the markets dumped today. God help us.

August 26 2013 at 10:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why doesn't Kerry just keep his mouth shut. Stupid person. No one wanted him back anyway.

August 26 2013 at 9:29 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

The FED will just print a few more trillion to prop up the stock market. What you have buried in the back yard will be worth squat.

August 26 2013 at 8:35 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

I heard today,,,Colin Powell was a uncle tom,!!!! Are they any truth to this.????

August 26 2013 at 8:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

,,,,Anyone works hard to earn a living,,let them have what they have earned,,,,,NO PROBLEM,,,,,,,,,My problem is the government taking my tax money and giving it to someone that has no desire to work or try to get ahead in life,,,Beacause of the Democrate Party keeping them in Slavery for votes.!!!!
And,,,Democrate Cities are all broke,,,,,,welfare and crime,,,,,,,Democrates are Welfare Lovers,,,,,,,Democrate Party has destroyed many lives of people.....

August 26 2013 at 8:06 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Bernacke has helped wall street make hundreds of billions. a few people were able to cash in their 401ks and get out but most could not. The American public was screwed twice now , actually more but the US is not going to recover. So get ready...if you can. The 1% will have all the money and the entire US will look like Detroit.

August 26 2013 at 7:16 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to SPQR's comment

I can not give you a rating,,,I agree on half you say,,,and,,the other half,,I do not...
If we did not have the 1%,,,who would pay into WELFARE FOR THE OTHER PEOPLE,!!!!!!

August 26 2013 at 8:08 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Thanks a lot John you turned an alright day into sh-t.

August 26 2013 at 6:03 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

What's Seria have to do with Wall Sreet? We've been in Afganhistan for years, being threatened by North Korea as well as Iran, a mess in Egypt, and over the last year the market thrived. It drops because Kerry puts pressure on Seria? Is it because we might get more involved? Involve us in jobs, economy, rebuilding our infrastructure, building a better country and let the Mid East solve their own problems. Sound selfish? It probably is.

August 26 2013 at 5:47 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to kolblh's comment
Hello Bob

Can you be any more ignorant ?

August 26 2013 at 6:13 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

That was just the typical BS story they make up ever day as to why the market goes up and down. Profits are being drained from the market in anticipation of Bernake turning off the money spicket.
Remember that Honeland security just bought 1 billion rounds of ammo to get ready

August 26 2013 at 7:15 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to SPQR's comment

I gave you a plus on this post.!!!!!!! GOOD POST.!!!!!

August 26 2013 at 8:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

Would the market increase if Kerry had supported Syria ?

August 26 2013 at 5:01 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply