NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks fell in morning trading Tuesday and gold and crude oil prices took a pause from their recent run as investors wait for the next step in the increasingly tense U.S.-Iran confrontation.
Markets swung sharply toward caution following Friday’s U.S. killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, and the threat of war sent dollars flowing out of risky investments like stocks and into gold and other safer harbors. Crude oil also jumped on worries that violence in the Middle East could disrupt supplies.
Asian and European stocks clawed back some of their losses from Monday, while benchmark U.S. crude oil was heading for its first drop in four days. Gold held steady a day after touching its highest price in nearly seven years.
U.S. stock indexes were lower, and more than twice as many stocks fell in the S&P 500 as rose. Oil companies had some of the biggest declines after falling crude prices dragged down Exxon Mobil, Chevron and others in the industry.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 was down 0.4%, as of 9:55 a.m. Eastern time.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 119 points, or 0.4%, to 28,583, and the Nasdaq composite dropped 0.3%.
MARKETS ABROAD: Asian markets had some of the day’s strongest gains and clawed back much of their sharp losses from Monday.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumped 1.6%, South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.9% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.3%.
In Europe, Germany’s Dax returned 0.6%, France’s CAC 40 added 0.1% and the FTSE 100 in London was virtually flat.
TAKE A BREATH: Gold slowed its momentum and rose a modest 80 cents to $1,569.60 per ounce. It had climbed more than $16 each of the last two days as investors piled into what they thought could hold steady even if a war broke out in the Middle East.
U.S. officials warned ships about the possibility of Iranaian action against U.S. interests in Mideast waterways or other retaliations following the drone strike on Soleimani.
SLICKED: Benchmark U.S. crude gave up some of its big gains made in recent days on worries about supplies. It dropped 53 cents to $62.74 per barrel. It had jumped more than $2 per barrel over the last two days.
Brent crude, the international standard, fell 63 cents to $68.28 per barrel.
That helped put at least a temporary halt to the recent rise for energy stocks. Chevron fell 1.8%, Exxon Mobil lost 1.2% and Schlumberger fell 1.3%.
YIELDS: The yield on the 10-year Treasury held steady at 1.81%.
AP Business Writer Elaine Kurtenbach contributed.