Stocks Open Sharply Lower on Worries About Syria

Black columns of smoke rise from heavy shelling in the Jobar neighborhood, east of Damascus, Syria, Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013. Worries about violence and chemical weapon use in Syria have impacted the stock market.

Black columns of smoke rise from heavy shelling in the Jobar neighborhood, east of Damascus, Syria, Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013. Worries about violence and chemical weapon use in Syria have impacted the stock market.

Associated Press + More

NEW YORK (AP) — Worries about a potential military strike against Syria are dragging down the stock market in early trading.

Tension is rising between Syria and the West after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday there is "undeniable" evidence of a chemical weapons attack in the Middle East nation. And U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Tuesday that U.S. forces are ready to act on any order from President Obama.

[READ: Kerry: Chemical Arms Use in Syria Has Consequences]

The Dow Jones industrial average slid 108 points to 14,837 in the first few minutes of trading Tuesday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index declined 14 points at 1,641. The Nasdaq composite fell 39 points at 3,618.

Investments that are considered safer in times of uncertainty rose. Gold and government bond prices climbed.

[READ: Treasury Says U.S. Will Hit Debt Limit in Mid-October]

Oil jumped 3 percent.

 

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