The stock markets in the United States suffered another decline as investors continue to monitor the ongoing situation in Syria. Today, United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, gave his assurance to American people that the Obama administration is taking “unprecedented steps” to declassify information regarding Syria’s use of chemical weapons. Kerry said the Obama administration would let the people judge the evidence against the Middle Eastern country.

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“Our intelligence community has carefully reviewed and re-reviewed information regarding this attack. It has done so more than mindful of the Iraq experience. We will not repeat that moment,” said Kerry.

The assessment of the United States government regarding Syria’s use of chemical weapons on August 21 indicates that 1,421 people—including 426 children—died.

Kerry emphasized again that the evidence gathered by the intelligence community is compelling and President Bashar al-Assad’s regime was responsible in carrying out the chemical weapons attack. “We know that the Assad regime has the largest chemical weapons program in the entire Middle East. We know the regime has used those weapons multiple times this year and has used them on a smaller scale but still has used them on its own people.”

“I’m not asking you to take my word for it, read for yourself — everyone, those listening, all of you — the evidence from thousands of sources, evidence that is already publicly available…. reached by our intelligence community about the chemical weapons attack,”  said Kerry.

He pointed out that Syria’s use of chemical weapons is a “clear redline for the international community” and noted that more than 180 countries signed the Chemical Weapons Convention.

On the other hand, President Obama said he is considering a “limited, narrow act” military response against Syria. According to the President, his administration is not considering open-ended commitment and a boots-on-the-ground approach.

Obama said, “I meant what I said: that the world has an obligation to make sure that we maintain the norm against the use of chemical weapons. We cannot accept a world where women and children and innocent civilians are gassed on an incredible scale.”

Commenting on the market reaction to the situation in Syria, Beth Lilly of Gabelli Funds said, “It’s a Friday before a holiday weekend, people don’t want to go into the weekend hugely exposed up or down, especially with this fear of Syria overhanging the market. The market does not like uncertainty, and there’s a lot of uncertainty as it relates to Syria.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 14, 801 (-0.26%)
  • S&P 500- 1,632 (-0.27%)
  • NASDAQ- 3,589 (-0.84%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,011 (-1.50%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 2,721 (-1.34%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,412 (-1.08%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 8,103 (-1.12%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 13, 388 (-0.53%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 21, 731 (+0.12%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2, 313 (-0.19%)

Stocks In Focus

Apache Corporation (NYSE:APA) surged by almost 9% to around $85.63 per share after the company sold a 33% stake in its Egyptian business unit to Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration for $3.1 billion as part of its strategic partnership. According to Robert Morris, analysts at Citi Investment Research, Apache took a big step in rebalancing its portfolio, and he projected that the oil and natural gas producer will use some of the proceeds of the transaction for share buyback.

The stock price of L’oreal S.A (OTCMKTS:LRLCY) (EPA:OR) increased by nearly 3% to $33.39 a share in New York after its management stated that it is making its options open to buy back the 29% stake owned by Nestle SA (VTX:NESN) (ETR:NESR). The company’s CEO Jean-Paul Agon said L’oreal has resources to achieve all opportunities.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (NYSE:KKD) plummeted by more than 15% to $19.72 a share after reporting second quarter earnings lower than the consensus estimate of Wall Street analysts. The company’s net income declined to $4.7 million or $0.07 per share. Its revenue was $112.7 million. Analysts expected the company to post $0.16 earnings per share on $111.9 million revenue.

The stock value of, inc. (NYSE:CRM) increased by more than 12% to $49.13 a share after the customer management software provider raised its third quarter and full-year 2014 revenue guidance to $1.05 billion and $4 billion, respectively. reported $0.12 earnings per share on $957 million revenue for the second quarter.