NEW YORK (
) -- Major U.S. stock markets sharply dropped after Secretary of State John Kerry said there was "undeniable" evidence that Syria had used chemical weapons, leaving investors to wonder whether the U.S. will take overt military action to unseat the Assad regime.
lost 0.4% to 1,656.78. The
Dow Jones Industrial Average
dropped 0.43% to 14,946.46. The
slipped 0.01% to 3,657.57.
"I think any confirmation on use of chemical weapons would obviously be a potential for some kind of action," said Alan Gayle, senior strategist at RidgeWorth Investments. "The market hadn't sold off hard or anything, it's just gone back."
COMEX gold for the December futures contract during electronic trading was jumping $8.90 to $1,402, a critical technical trading level, following comments by Kerry.
Durable goods orders declined sharply by 7.3% in July, the Commerce Department reported Monday before the market open. It was the largest drop since August 2012, snapping three straight months of gains. Economists on average were expecting a decline of 4%.
(AMGN - Get Report)
was the top gainer in the S&P, surging 7.7% to $113.75 after the world's largest biotechnology company by sales reached a deal to buy cancer drugmaker
for about $10.4 billion in cash.
Amgen will acquire Onyx for $125 a share
; the deal is expected to be completed at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Onyx Pharmaceuticals was jumping more than 5% as well to $123.51.
surged 12.3% to $17.48 after the provider of procurement and other services to steel mills
agreed to sell itself for about $1 billion
, including debt, to an investment firm run by Tom Pritzker, a member of one of America's wealthiest business families, people familiar with the matter told
The Wall Street Journal
America Movil SAB de CV
(AMX - Get Report)
tacked on 1.5% to $19.73. Spain's
increased its agreed
, the German cellular division of
Royal KPN NV
, to win the backing of major KPN shareholder America Movil SAB de CV.
But America Movil, Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim's group, which said it now owns 29.77% of KPN, reiterated it still plans to go ahead with its proposed €7.2 billion ($9.65 billion) bid in cash for the remaining shares in the Dutch group,
( BTU )
was another top gainer, advancing 2.2% to $18.25 after
wrote that the coal producer's shares may be poised for upside on stronger coal prices as utilities begin moving back to coal from natural gas.
C.H. Robinson Worldwide
( CHRW )
meanwhile added 2.9% to $58.83 after analysts at
maintained a "buy" view on shares of the logistics company and said that its announcement to increase its share repurchase initiative by 15 million shares will have a strong impact on the stock price and squeeze shorts.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury was rising 7/32, diluting the yield to 2.789%.
-- Written by Andrea Tse and Joe Deaux in New York
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