The stock market sagged on Monday after the Obama administration ratcheted up its pressure against Syria.
Secretary of State John Kerry said there was “undeniable” evidence of a large-scale chemical weapons attack in Syria last week and suggested the administration was edging closer to a military response.
The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index slipped 6.72 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 1,656.78. It was up 2 points just before Mr. Kerry began reading his statement.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 64.05 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 14,946.46. The Nasdaq composite index slipped 0.2 of a point, to 3,657.57.
With four trading days left in August, the major indexes are on track to end the month with slight losses. So far this month, the Dow has fallen more than 3.5 percent. If that holds, it would be the Dow’s worst month since May 2012.
A handful of corporate deals helped give the market a lift early in the day.
Amgen, the biotech giant, surged $8.15, or 8 percent, to $113.75 following its announcement late Sunday that it plans to buy Onyx Pharmaceuticals for $10.4 billion in cash, or $125 a share. The acquisition would give Amgen three approved cancer treatments and several other potential drugs. Onyx rose $6.53, or 6 percent, to $123.49.
Shares of TMS International jumped $1.91, or 12 percent, to $17.48 after members of the Pritzker family agreed to buy the industrial company for about $690 million in cash, or $17.50 a share. The Pritzker family, one of America’s wealthiest, operates a global industrial conglomerate and founded the Hyatt hotel chain.
In economic news, the government reported that orders for long-lasting manufactured goods plunged 7.3 percent last month, the steepest drop in nearly a year. Demand for commercial aircraft sank, and businesses spent less on computers and electrical equipment. Excluding the transportation category, however, the index fell only 0.6 percent.
Jack Ablin, the chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank in Chicago, said investors would probably look past the one bad economic report because so many major events were coming up.
The Federal Reserve will start a two-day meeting Sept. 17 at which its policy makers will discuss gradually phasing out their economic stimulus program. After that, Germany holds national elections that could change how the euro zone handles rescue loans for troubled countries. Congress returns from its summer break next week and will take up a new budget before the fiscal year starts on Oct. 1.
“These issues are big enough to transcend daily data,” Mr. Ablin said.
Among the stocks on the move on Monday, Anadarko Petroleum climbed $1.22, or 1 percent, to $91.02. The oil and gas producer said late Sunday that it was selling part of its stake in a natural-gas site off the shores of Mozambique for $2.64 billion.
Tesla, the electric-car maker, climbed $2.38, or 1 percent, to $164.22, following reports that its Model S outsold Cadillac, Porsche, Jaguar and other brands in June in California.
In the bond market, interest rates eased. The price of the Treasury’s 10-year note rose 9/32, to 97 17/32, while its yield fell to 2.79 percent, from 2.82 percent late Friday.-nytimes