Stock Market Today: Geopolitics Grabs Center Stage

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock indices finished with a lack of conviction on Thursday amid uncertainties about the country's renewed involvement in the Middle East and concerns for the direction of the global economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average  fell 0.12% to settle at 17,049. The S&P 500  was up 0.09% to 1,997.45. The Nasdaq was up 0.12% to 4,591.81.

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Geopolitical jitters rose Thursday as investors worried about rising conflict in the Middle East. President Obama outlined in a televised address Wednesday evening his plan to destroy militants from the group Islamic State. The president also said he's authorizing U.S. airstrikes inside Syria for the first time, along with expanded strikes in Iraq, as part of the campaign to intensify the battle against the Islamic State extremists.

"We really didn't get a lot of information last night from the president in terms of what to expect from what's going to be involved [with the battle against ISIS]. You throw on top on that the strengthening dollar -- what that means for third quarter earnings ... and you've had good data, you've had less stellar data. There just doesn't seem to be a lot of clarity and we could be entering a pause period right now," said Dan Veru, chief investment officer at Palisade Capital Management.

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