Wall Street declines as investors wary on US-Iran tension, but chipmakers gain


Wall Street’s major indexes fell as investors become cautious of the escalating tension between the US and Iran. Following this, energy shares also dropped while oil prices recently climbed back up.

S&P 500 futures dropped 1% after news of Iranian missile attacks on Iraqi air base housing American troops was reported.

The drop in S&P 500 at the late hours of trading was an indication that Wall Street opens Wednesday with a loss.

On Tuesday, Chevron Corp (CVX.N) and Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) dropped with oil prices, which in recent days had climbed amid the ongoing turmoil between US and Iran. This was after Iranian military commander Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike last week.

Meanwhile, chipmakers gained, helping the market restrict losses, especially in Nasdaq. Philadelphia Semiconductor index .SOX climbed 1.8% with Micron Technology Inc. climbing 8.8% after the upgraded version of brokerage Cowen & Co was launched.

When news of the killing of Soleimani surfaced, major indexes were wiped off record highs, sending equity investors in a tense state.

“We’re trying to digest the Middle East action” and other reports from the political front, portfolio manager Jack Janasiewicz of Natixis Investment Managers’ Multi-Asset Portfolio Solutions group said.

“It’s a little bit of a step back, take a breath, consolidate a little bit,” he said. “But we’re going to start to head into earnings, and that’s going to be the next catalyst for the market.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI lost 0.42%, or 119.7 points, at 28,583.68; S&P 500 .SPX dropped 0.28%, or 9.1 points, at 3,237.18; and Nasdaq Composite .IXIC fell 0.03%, or 2.88 points, at 9,068.58.

Among those which gained include Boeing Co (BA.N) shares that rose 1.1%, Microchip Technology Inc. (MCHP.O) which climbed 6.7%, and Apache Corp (APA.N) which climbed 26.8%.

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