US airstrike against Syria rattles stock-market futures – MarketWatch

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Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell late Thursday, as the U.S. Navy launched some 60 cruise missiles against targets in Syria.

Dow futures YMM7, -0.40% were off more than 100 points, or 0.5%, at 20,502, while those for the S&P 500 index ESM7, -0.41% were down 0.5% at 2,342. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 NQM7, -0.38% were down about 0.6% at 5,393.

The airstrike using Tomahawk cruise missiles comes after President Donald Trump condemned Tuesday’s apparent chemical attack in Syria, which killed scores of civilians. “What Assad did is terrible,” Trump said on Thursday as he traveled to Florida on Air Force One. “What happened in Syria is truly one of the egregious crimes and it shouldn’t have happened.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has no place in that country’s future.

The U.S. airstrike marks the first large-scale military operation launched by Trump, who took the oath of office Jan. 20. It also comes at a sensitive time for the GOP leader, who is hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping at his resort in Mar-a-Lago, Fla., on Thursday and Friday. The summit is being closely watched by investors for signs that the heads of the world’s largest economies can ease tensions, over trade and North Korea, which has heightened geopolitical tensions with a series of missile tests.

Haven assets, which investors tend to flock to during political and economic uncertainty, were drawing bidders. Gold futures GCM7, +1.11%  trading in electronic trade on Globex surged $15.70, or 1.3%, at $1,269.30 an ounce, extending gains from its Thursday settlement of $1,248.50and driving above its 200-day moving average of 1,261.10 an ounce, according to FactSet data. Moving averages are used by market technicians to determine an assets long-term and short-term momentum.

Meanwhile, the 10-year Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y, -1.14% drifted to 2.29%, its lowest level in months, following a close at 2.343% late Thursday in New York.

Read: Why investors are fretting over the Trump-Xi meeting

And see: Trump’s meeting with China’s Xi could have a lasting impact on the dollar

The Dow DJIA, +0.07%   on Thursday closed up 14.80 points to finish at 20,662.95. The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.19%  rose 4.54 points, or 0.2%, to close at 2,357.49, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.25% climbed 14.47 points, or 0.3%, to end at 5,878.95.

Likely complicating tomorrow’s trading action will be awaiting a closely watched employment report, the nonfarm-payrolls report due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, which could help determine the heath of the U.S. economy and help to set the pace of the Federal Reserve’s efforts to normalize monetary policy.

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