Stock market bounces off lows as investors weigh Middle East tensions

Chris Matthews for MarketWatch:

U.S. stocks traded mostly lower Monday for a second session, but were off their worst levels, as investors focused on escalating tensions in the Middle East, in the aftermath of the killing of Iranian Major Gen. Qassem Soleimani on Iraqi soil…

Equity benchmarks mostly were adding to losses last week as President Donald Trump threatened sanctions and demanded compensation from Iraq for U.S. military forces, after Baghdad said it may push American forces out of the country following the killing of Soleimani on Friday. “We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build. Long before my time. We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it,” Trump said on Sunday. Separately, the president said that the U.S. is prepared to target 52 Iranian sites if Iran strikes any Americans or American assets…

There’s reason to hope that the conflict won’t have lasting impact on the market. Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at AxiTrader pointed out in a daily research note that “U.S. equity markets tend to rally whenever the U.S. begins military operations overseas.” Meanwhile, “the fundamental backdrop for stocks remains positive,” Sandven argued, citing low unemployment, brisk consumer spending and low interest rates as reasons for investors to bid equities higher in the coming weeks, though he predicted that these gains would come amid higher volatility.

Dow component Apple Inc. [shares] were up 0.7%, after six consecutive weeks of gains during which the consumer electronics company’s stock rose more than 11%.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple is proving to be quite resilient!

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