Business & Finance

Stocks tumble as market reacts to impact of Mideast turmoil on oil

stock tumble

Stocks suffered another blow on Wednesday, a day after Wall Street fell to its worst session since August last year as investors take with caution the current political turmoil in Libya and its like impact to oil.

The trading opened on positive note after the market was buoyed up by futures that point to a rosy start for the stocks and an impending correction.

“Some of the concern about the Middle East and higher oil prices got embedded into the market yesterday,” said Giri Cherukuri, head trader at OakBrook Investments in Lisle, Illinois.

“Today we’ll get to see if this is the start of a trend,” he added.

Analysts expect technology shares to take the spotlight after Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N) revised downward its revenue forecast late Tuesday, on account of weak consumer demand for personal computers and poor showing from its services arm.

Meanwhile, the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI dropped 37.39 points, or 0.31 percent, to 12,175.40. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index .SPX also fell 2.53 points, or 0.19 percent, to 1,312.91.

The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC, on the other hand, lost 8.11 points, or 0.29 percent, to 2,748.31.

The current standoff in Libya enters its ninth day with leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi refusing to yield and vowed to die a “marty.”

Earlier, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said they have received reports that the eastern region of Cyrenaica, where much of Libya’s oil is located, was no longer under Gaddafi’s control after violent attempts to crush protest there and elsewhere in the country.

Also a senior aide to Gaddafi’s son Saif has resigned amid claims that as many as 1,000 people have been killed the violent government crackdown.

Brent and U.S. crude oil futures gained further ground on worries about possible supply disruptions. Latest reports said a Libyan bomber plane had crashed after its pilots defied orders to bomb oil fields southwest of Benghazi and instead ejected from the plane.

Jon Mills

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