Monday Closing Bell: Markets Plunge on Kerry’s Remarks

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Bull and Bear figuresAugust 26, 2013: U.S. markets opened slightly higher this morning, held in check by limited data releases in Europe and Asia, and a decidedly downbeat report on U.S. durable goods orders. The markets traded along slightly higher most of the day until late afternoon when Secretary of State John Kerry stated that Syria had indeed used chemical weapons against its own citizens, causing fears that a U.S. military response would further destabilize the region and affect global equities’ prices.

European and Asian markets closed mixed today, while Latin American markets closed lower.

On Tuesday’s calendar, San Francisco Fed President John Williams is giving a speech and we are scheduled for the following data releases and events:

  • 9:00 a.m. – S&P Case-Shiller house price index
  • 10:00 a.m. – Conference Board consumer confidence index
  • 10:00 a.m. – Richmond Fed manufacturing index
  • 11:30 a.m. – 4-week Treasury bill auction
  • 1:00 p.m. – 2-year note auction

We also broke out the top Wall Street calls with analyst upgrades and downgrades.

Here are the closing bell levels for Monday:

  • S&P500 1,656.79 (-6.70 -0.40%)
  • DJIA 14,946.85 (-63.66; -0.42%)
  • NASDAQ 3,657.57 (-0.22; -0.01%)
  • 10YR TNOTE 2.789% (-0.22%)
  • Gold $1,370.80 (+6.50; +0.47%)
  • Euro/Dollar: 1.3371 (-0.0015; -0.12%)

Big earnings movers: Chinese internet firm Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd. (NYSE: QIHU) is up 8% at $78.99 on strong earnings and a buoyant outlook. A small biotech firm, Spherix Inc. (NASDAQ: SPEX) jumped 26.7% to more than $14 on earnings. On Tuesday we are scheduled to get earnings from LDK Solar Co. Ltd. (NYSE: LDK) and Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) before markets open. After Tuesday’s close we’ll hear from Workday Inc. (NYSE: WDAY) and TiVo Inc. (NASDAQ: TIVO), among others.

Stocks on the move: Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ONXX) is up 5.6% at $123.52 after accepting a $10.4 billion buyout offer from Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN). Chinese wealth management firm Noah Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: NOAH) is down 16.6% at $13.76 following an analyst downgrade on worries about the company’s recurring revenues.

In all, 91 stocks put up new 52-week highs today, while just 14 stocks posted new lows.