Dow tumbles more than 300 points on fears of potential attack by Iran and inflation woes

Dow tumbles more than 300 points on fears of potential attack by Iran and inflation woes

Apr 12,2024
New York CNN  — 

US stocks slid Friday morning as Wall Street worried about escalating tension in the Middle East and sticky inflation.

The Dow fell 308 points, or 0.8%. The S&P 500 declined 0.8% and the Nasdaq Composite lost 1%.

The US and Israel are on alert for a potential attack by Iran or its proxies after an Israeli strike in Damascus last week.

Oil prices spiked on Friday on fears of intensifying regional tensions stoked by the war in Gaza. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil, rose 2.3% to $91.80 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate crude futures, the US benchmark, gained 2.8% to $87.36 a barrel.

Energy and utility stocks were some of the only areas of the market that rose Friday morning.

The price of the most actively traded gold futures contract rose to roughly $2,432 a troy ounce. The yellow metal is seen as a haven Investment.

The concerns about geopolitical turmoil come as investors contend with concerns that persistent inflation could lead the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates later than expected after raising them to a 23-year high. Some Fed officials have even said that rate hikes aren’t off the table, though it’s unlikely, if the central bank’s progress on inflation stalls.

CNN’s Fear & Greed Index, which measures seven barometers of market sentiment, was at a “neutral” reading, pulling back from a “greed” reading the prior close.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon warned investors Friday that while strong economic data is reassuring, geopolitical turmoil and persistent inflation are key causes of concern. He also cited Russia’s war with Ukraine as an ongoing concern.

“It could be determinative on what happens to the global economy if oil and gas prices go too high,” Dimon told reporters after the bank’s first-quarter results released Friday morning.

JPMorgan Chase shares fell 4.9% on Friday morning.

Elsewhere, fresh data showed that Americans’ attitudes toward the economy have dampened over the past few months as inflation stays stubborn. The University of Michigan’s latest consumer survey showed that sentiment largely held steady in April, according to a preliminary reading released Friday.

This story is developing and will be updated.

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