The stock markets in the United States suffered another decline today due to concerns regarding the tensions in the Middle East particularly in Yemen.

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Today, Saudi Arabia and its allies in the region launched airstrikes against the Houthi rebels in Yemen. During a press conference, Saudi Arabia Ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir said, “We will do whatever it takes to protect the legitimate government of Yemen from falling.”

Political observers noted that Saudi’s intervention signals a major escalation of the crisis in Yemen. Iran supports the Houthis and condemns the Saudi-led military operations. Its Foreign Ministry called for an immediate stop to the “aggression and air strikes” in Yemen.

Marzieh Afkham, the spokesperson for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, emphasize that the military actions in Yemen will further complicate the situation.

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In the United States, the Department of Commerce reported yesterday that the orders for long-lasting manufactured goods contracted last month.

Today, the Department of Labor reported that the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits declined by 9,000 to 282,000 for the week ended March 21.

Meanwhile, some of the biggest decliners yesterday particularly in the technology sector rebounded today.

In a telephone interview with Bloomberg, Kevin Diney, chief investment officer at Beaconcrest Capital Management said, “A lot of people use these opportunities to get into large-cap tech companies, which look appealing from both a value and growth combination viewpoint. At the same time, the lower-quality stocks are still getting hit.”

U.S. Markets

• Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 17,678.23 (-0.23%)
• S&P 500- 2,056.15 (-0.24%)
• NASDAQ- 4,863.36 (-0.27%)
• Russell 2000- 1,232.11 (-0.14%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,669.79 (-0.39%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,895.33 (-1.37%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 11,843.68 (-0.18%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 19,471.12 (-1.39%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 24,497.08 (-0.13%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 3,950.00 (+0.24%)

Stocks in Focus

The shares of Lumber Liquidators tumbled more than 6% to $29.89 per share. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission confirmed its investigation against the company after the 60 Minutes report claiming that some of the Chinese-made laminated products of Lumber Liquidators contain high levels of formaldehyde.

The stock price of Tesla Motors declined 2% to $190.40 per share. The electric car manufacturer was sued in United Kingdom for allegedly interfering with Ecotricity’s plan to roll out charging stations in the country’s highway rest stops. Tesla Motors filed a counter suit against the Ecotricity for violating antitrust laws.

Sandisk plummeted more than 18% to $66.20 per share after the company reduced its revenue forecast for the current quarter. The company expected its first quarter revenue to be around $1.3 billion, down from its previous estimate in the range of $1.4 billion to $1.45 billion.

SandDisk also expected its 2015 revenue to be lower than its previous guidance. Its CEO Sanjay Mehrotra said, “We are disappointed with our financial outlook. We will work through these headwinds, leveraging our compelling product roadmap and broadening customer base.”

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