A 7-Day Rally in US Stocks Fades Away


The stock market was mostly lower early Thursday afternoon, as the longest rally since July peters out.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was nearly unchanged at 15,326 as of 2:25 p.m. Eastern time Thursday. The Dow has added more than 400 points since Monday, and is up 3.4 percent this month.

The last three days of gains have helped the Dow recover the bulk of its losses in August, the worst month for the blue-chip index since May 2012.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell three points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,686, after rising the past seven days. That was the longest winning streak since a string of eight gains between July 3 and July 15.

The Nasdaq composite fell a point to 3,723. That followed a sharp decline Wednesday caused by a sell-off in Apple’s stock.

The Dow did better than other indices because of Walt Disney, which jumped nearly three percent after the company said it plans to buy back up to $8 billion of its own stock starting next year.

Traders continue to watch developments in Syria, where Syrian president Bashar Assad said Thursday his government has agreed to surrender its chemical weapons in response to a Russian proposal, not because of the threat of an attack from the U.S.

“Syria is still there as a concern, but it’s starting to de-escalate,” said Richard Sichel, chief investment officer at Philadelphia Trust Co., which manages $1.9 billion in assets.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, are set to sit down together to discuss details of the plan in Geneva later Thursday. While Syria’s economy is too small to have an impact on the global economy, the country is strategically important for oil markets since a conflict there could escalate and jeopardize the flow of crude from the Middle East.