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US stocks sank amid possible military intervention in Syria

stockmarketU.S. stocks fell, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index sliding for a second day, as tension grew over possible military action in Syria and consumer confidence index beating expectations.

The S&P 500 slid 0.4% to 1,644.08 at 9:55 a.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 93.74, or 0.6%, to 14,852.72, headed for its eighth decline in 10 sessions.

“Everybody’s waiting to see what’s going to happen,” Randy Bateman, who oversees $15 billion as chief investment officer of Huntington Asset Advisors in Columbus, Ohio, said by phone for Bloomberg. “Is this going to escalate? Energy prices, if they rise a whole lot, could that mitigate all the strength weve been seeing lately in the economy? If weve got housing prices that start to rise at the same time we have food and fuel increasing, we could see inflation start to rise and that could impact Fed policy.”

President Barack Obama is put under growing pressure from U.S. allies and Congress to go beyond denunciations of Syria and take military action after the Aug. 21 attack that opposition groups say killed more than 1,300 people. Iran’s Foreign Ministry warned that a U.S. attack on Syria would drag the whole region into conflict.

There is a growing feeling of uncertainty among investors as news about western world striking Syria in upcoming days is raising questions about future economic conditions.

In corporate news, Best Buy Co. declined 2.3% to $35. Richard Schulze, the electronics retailer’s founder and largest shareholder, said he plans to sell an undisclosed amount of its stock to diversify his assets and raise money.

Gold producers soared as the price of the precious metal climbed to a two-month high. Newmont Mining Corp. 2.1% to $34 and Barrick Gold increased 2.4% to $20.91.

Tiffany & Co. added 0.9% to $82.40. The world’s second-largest luxury jewelry retailer said second-quarter net income rose 16% to $106.8 million, or 83 cents a share, from $91.8 million, or 72 cents, a year earlier. Analysts had projected 74 cents, according to the average of 22 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

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