Dow Finishes Higher Amid Heightened U.S.-Iran Tensions

Stocks finish higher Monday as investors assess rising military tensions in the Gulf region following last week's killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani by the U.S.
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  1. Stocks finished higher Monday as investors assessed rising military tensions in the Gulf region following last week's killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.
  2. Oil prices rose amid concerns of reprisal attacks on tankers and installations in the Gulf region.
  3. Boeing was up Monday despite a report that said the planemaker was considering plans to cut spending and raise more debt amid the ongoing pressures from the grounding of its 737 MAX jet.

Stocks ended higher Monday and oil prices continued rising as investors assessed rising military tensions in the Gulf region following last week's killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 68 points, or 0.24%, to 28,703, the S&P 500 gained 0.35% and the Nasdaq was up 0.56%.

At its lows for the day the Dow had fallen 216 points.

Millions of Iranians mourned the general's death Sunday as his killing -- which was directly ordered by Donald Trump -- rippled through regional politics and financial markets around the world.

Stocks in Asia and Europe posted declines on Monday.

The general's sister, Zeinab Soleimani, vowed revenge in a nationally televised address, while Iran's leaders said they would immediately roll back on commitments linked to the 2015 non-proliferation agreement that Trump abruptly abandoned in 2018.

Trump, for his part, warned that any retaliation from Tehran would trigger potential strikes on any of 52 separate targets -- including cultural sites -- while leaders in Asia and Europe attempted to de-escalate the growing crisis with calls for diplomacy from both sides.

Oil prices on Monday added to Friday's more than 3% surge amid concerns of reprisal attacks on tankers and installations in the Gulf region -- which is home to around half of the world's crude production.

Brent crude futures contracts for February delivery, the global benchmark, were off 0.39% on Monday to $68.33 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude contracts for the same month dipped 0.48% to $62.75.

Boeing (BA) - Get Report turned higher Monday despite The Wall Street Journal reporting the planemaker was considering plans to cut spending and raise more debt in order to bolster its finances amid the ongoing pressures from the grounding of its flagship 737 MAX jet.

The Journal said Boeing could defer capital expenditures, cut R&D spending or possibly cease targeting acquisitions as it moves to repair its balance sheet under new CEO David Calhoun, who assumes his role on Jan. 13. Boeing may also raise as much as $5 billion in new debt to potentially cover part of the $6.1 billion the company has earmarked for compensation to the families of the 346 people who died crashes of  737 MAX planes in Ethiopia and Indonesia.

The stock also was pressured by a report that Boeing was looking into potential wiring problems in the 737 MAX at the urging of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Netflix (NFLX) - Get Report is Real Money's Stock of the Day. The streaming giant came into the Golden Globes with 17 nominations, the most of any single studio, including four nods for best picture, but took home only two prizes during the awards show.

Saleforce.com (CRM) - Get Report rose Monday after analysts at RBC Capital upgraded the stock to top pick from outperform.

The firm also raised the stock's price target to $215 from $200, which represents a potential upside of 30% from the stock’s previous closing price of $166.17.

Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Report was upgraded to buy from hold by an analyst from Pivotal Research, who said he was "encouraged by the durability of revenue growth" at the Internet-search giant.