Analysts tie fall in US stocks to headlines on potential Iran strike, US criticism on Gaza war

Wall Street stocks finish sharply lower today, reversing course on a rise in oil prices blamed on worries over the Middle East.

Analysts attribute the climb in crude to multi-month highs to headlines about Israel boosting its defenses against a potential Iran strike and sharper US criticism of Israel’s handling of the Gaza war.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finishes down 1.4 percent at 38,596.98, a drop of about 825 points from its session peak.

The broad-based S&P 500 falls 1.2% to 5,147.21, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index sinks 1.4% to 16,049.08.

Stocks had opened the day higher and appeared poised for a rebound after a sluggish start to the second quarter.

Losses were broad-based with all 11 sectors of the S&P 500 in the red.

An exception is defense-related stocks, such as Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman, which advance.

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