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Midday Market Update

Stocks Lower After Data, Syria Concerns


U.S. Market    
Stocks were lower at midday as a global markets sold off Tuesday on worries of a possible U.S. intervention in Syria, which led investors to allocate their assets to the perceived safety of bonds

Meanwhile, the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home-price indexes increased once again in June, with the 10-city index rising 11.9% during the year ended in June, while the 20-city index gained 12.1%. Each index showed a seasonally adjusted monthly gain of around 1% in June from May. The overall U.S. home-price index is more than 10% higher compared with last year; however, Case-Shiller report warned of a potential slowdown in the pace of price increases in the near term. 

Separately, consumer confidence increased to an index reading of 81.5 in August from July's upward revision of 81.0. The index is lower than the June reading but it exceeded economists' expectations. Consumers downgraded their view of present conditions, but their outlook for activity during the next six months improved. 

The Dow lost 0.7% at midday. The S&P 500 fell by 1.1%, while the Nasdaq lost 1.4%. 

Stocks on the Move
Following activist investor Bill Ackman's resignation from  J.C. Penney's (JCP) board of directors earlier this month, the company revealed late Monday that Ackman is selling his 18% stake in Penney, totaling 39 million shares. Despite falling initially, Penney shares were 2.5% higher at midday. 

Foreign Markets
Asian stocks were mostly lower Tuesday, as the Nikkei 225 fell by 0.7% and the Hang Seng lost 0.6%. The Shanghai Composite finished 0.3% higher. 

In Europe, stocks fell across the board, with the FTSE 100, the Paris CAC, and the DAX losing 0.8%, 2.3%, and 2.4%. 

Kevin O'Shaughnessy does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.