A sign for Wall Street is seen just outside the New York Stock Exchange.(Photo: Timothy A. Clary, AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The increasing possibility of U.S. military strikes raised worries on Wall Street, and that sank stocks, lifted gold and pushed the price of oil to the highest in a year and a half.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 1.1 percent to a two-month low. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 1.6 percent, while the Nasdaq composite shed 2.2 percent.
Gold prices advanced and government bond prices jumped because traders see those investments holding their value better in times of uncertainty. Gold rose 2 percent.
Syria itself has little oil. But traders feared an intervention in Syria could cause further instability in the Middle East and possibly disrupt the flow of oil from the region. Oil surged 2.9 percent to close at $109.01 a barrel, the highest closing price since February 2012.