Stocks Ended Lower amid Middle East Tensions

U.S. stocks ended lower on Tuesday, as concerns about the possibility of war in the Middle East overshadowed favorable U.S. economic data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 119.70 points, or 0.42%, to 28,583.68. The S&P 500 declined 9.10 points, or 0.28%, to 3,237.18. The Nasdaq Composite was down 2.88 points, or 0.03%, to 9,068.58.

Oil prices settled lower Monday, pulling back after gains in the last three sessions lifted prices to multimonth high. West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery fell 57 cents, or 0.9%, to settle at $62.70 a barrel. March Brent crude shed 64 cents, or 0.9%, to $68.27 a barrel.

The Institute for Supply Management’s survey of service-oriented companies such as banks retailers and restaurants rose to a four-month high of 55% in December, from 53.9% in the prior month.Numbers over 50% are viewed as positive for the economy and anything above 55% is seen as exceptional.

The trade deficit fell sharply in November for the second month in a row and sank to the lowest level in three years. The trade gap dropped 8.2% to $43.1 billion in November, the government said Tuesday.

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