Stock futures declined Monday as the deadly Israel-Hamas conflict pressured an already fragile market dealing with inflation and surging interest rates. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 215 points, or 0.6%. S&P 500 futures lost 0.7%, while Nasdaq 100 futures slipped 0.8%. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict escalated to full-blown war on Saturday after militant group Hamas staged an invasion, to which Israel was seemingly caught off guard. More than 700 Israelis have been killed in what Hamas is calling Operation Al Aqsa Flood, with at least 490 Palestinians killed in retaliatory Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip. Hamas is a designated terrorist group backed by Iran that has governed the Gaza Strip since 2007. The rising geopolitical tensions caused by the war could have ramifications for the energy market, with some experts forecasting a “knee jerk surge” in oil. The rising tension could also serve to stoke further volatility in market that has kept traders worried with persistent inflation and higher interest rates. WTI crude oil futures were up by 3.8% on Monday, trading above $85 per ounce. Major defense and oil companies jumped amid the attack, with Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman Corp adding 4.9% and 3.6%, respectively, in premarket trading. Marathon Oil and Occidental Petroleum, meanwhile, climbed 3.6% and 3.4%, respectively. Oil prices meaningfully pulled back below $90 per barrel last week, with Brent crude slipping roughly 11% and U.S. West Texas Intermediate notching an 8% drop. While neither Israel nor Palestine are major players in the global energy picture, both nations are located in a key region for oil that could have broader implications. OPEC+, the oil cartel that includes non-OPEC member Russia, will remain cautious on any moves to expand oil output further and change plans for cuts, the Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told CNBC on Sunday. With the bond market closed on Monday for Columbus Day, Wall Street will have to wait until Tuesday for an update on interest rates. All three major indexes finished last week higher despite a stronger-than-expected jobs report that initially pushed up Treasury yields and sent stocks lower. A hotter-than-expected jobs report from Friday showed hiring remains robust, with the economy adding 336,000 jobs last month. Wages, meanwhile, grew at a largely muted clip, which gave investors hope inflation was cooling. Stock futures declined Monday as the deadly Israel-Hamas conflict pressured an already fragile market dealing with inflation and surging interest rates. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 215 points, or 0.6%. S&P 500 futures lost 0.7%, while Nasdaq 100 futures slipped 0.8%. Asia-Pacific markets are mixed to start to the week as Chinese markets come back from a week-long Golden Week holiday. Investors will be watching inflation readings and trade data out from China and India later this week, as well as a monetary policy decision from Singapore’s central bank. Japan and South Korea’s markets are closed Monday for a holiday. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.23% to end at 6,970.2, snapping a five-day losing streak. This comes after the index fell below the 7,000 mark for the first time since March on Friday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.04% in its final hour of trade for the afternoon, after trading was canceled for the morning due to the city’s Signal 8 typhoon warning for Typhoon Koinu. That warning was downgraded at 11:40 a.m, allowing the afternoon session to proceed at 2 p.m. Meanwhile, mainland Chinese markets weakened, with the benchmark CSI 300 index falling about 0.13% and closing at 3,684.73 after the Golden Week. Oil prices jumped more than 3% as the Israel-Hamas conflict extended into its third day following a surprise attack on Israel by Palestinian militants Hamas. Global benchmark Brent traded 3.6% higher at $87.63 a barrel, while the U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures rose 3.7% to $85.85 per barrel. Gold prices climbed more than 1% on Monday as dramatic clashes between Israeli and Hamas forces over the weekend raised the risk of a wider Middle East conflict and spurred a rush to safe-haven investments like bullion. Spot gold jumped 1% to $1,851.26 per ounce, having hit its highest level in a week. U.S. gold futures climbed 1.1% to $1,865.20.
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