US stocks fall after Russian war plane shot down

NEW YORK (AFP) - US stocks fell early Tuesday, joining European equity markets in retreating following news that Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet on the Syrian border.

About 30 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 17,742.77, down 49.91 points (0.28 per cent).

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 7.84 (0.38 per cent) to 2,078.75, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 22.18 (0.43 per cent) to 5,080.29.

The Turkish army said the plane was shot down by two Turkish F-16s after it violated Turkish airspace 10 times within a five-minute period. Russia insisted the jet was inside Syrian airspace, raising the possibility of a major spike in tensions over Syria.

Losses in European markets were deeper, with Frankfurt losing 1.4 per cent and Paris 1.7 per cent.

“The world right now is a tightly rolled ball of geopolitical angst, which is probably going to help keep a bid in the oil market for the time being and in risk-averse assets like Treasuries and the dollar,” said analyst Patrick O’Hare.

Travel stocks retreated after the State Department late Monday issued a global advisory warning US citizens of “increased terrorist threats” in the wake of the Paris attacks.

Expedia fell 1.5 per cent, Priceline 2.2 per cent and TripAdvisor 2.1 per cent. United Continental dropped 3.3 per cent and Delta Air Lines lost 2.5 per cent.

But petroleum-linked stocks got a lift, as oil prices rallied on concerns about worsening tensions over Syria. Dow member Chevron rose 1.7 per cent, Anadarko Petroleum 2.3 per cent and oil-services company Weatherford International 3.6 per cent.

Cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks gained 6.5 per cent after reporting that revenue for the quarter ending Oct 31 grew 55 per cent to  US$297.2 million.

Tiffany was flat after trimming its full-year forecast following a disappointing third-quarter earnings performance. Results have been dented by the strong dollar.

Signet Jewelers fell 5.4 per cent as it reported third-quarter net income of 33 cents per share, six cents shy of analyst expectations.

Xerox dipped 1.2 per cent after activist investor Carl Icahn disclosed a 7.13 per cent stake in the company and said he planned to potentially seek board representation.