New York Report: Airlines dent US equities

US STOCKS fell yesterday as concerns escalated about Iraq, putting airline stocks into a tail spin.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 109.69 points or 0.65 per cent, to end at 16,734.19. The S&P 500 slid 13.78 points or 0.71 per cent, to 1,930.11. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 34.30 points or 0.79 per cent, to 4,297.63.

Energy shares ranked among the few gainers, as oil prices rose on the back of the heavy fighting in Iraq and President’s Barack Obama’s statement that the US might intervene. The S&P energy sector index was up 0.3 per cent.

Shares of major US airlines dropped as oil prices rose. American Airlines, the world’s largest carrier, dived 4.9 per cent to $40.20 while United Continental tumbled 5.9 per cent to $42.60. The sector fell for its second straight day, following Lufthansa’s profit warning on Wednesday.