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Few things unsettle the financial markets more than reports of unrest in the Middle East, that cradle of civilizations where so much bloody history has been written. So Thursday's news -- the bombing of a U.S. destroyer in Yemen, intensified violence between Israelis and Palestinians -- has sparked heavy selling on an already-jittery Wall Street.

The major U.S. stock indices have lurched lower, with the battered

Nasdaq Composite Index on pace for its lowest close of the year. Oil prices, for months the subject of deep concern, have leapt sharply higher. The bond market and a few equity sectors have held up well, but millions of investors are feeling very real pain as the swirling uncertainties ravage their portfolios.

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is keeping on top of the developments in the U.S. and abroad, with help from our partners in Israel at

. Check back in the hours and days to come for the latest on how the Mideast crisis is affecting the financial world.

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