Sharjah24 - AFP: Following inconsistent earnings, global markets were divided on Friday, as concerns about the crisis in the Middle East increased the price of oil.
Following a positive session in Asia, bourses in Europe and New York mostly fell, extending a rough patch for equities.
"We are seeing the sellers are relentless and clearly in control," said Adam Sarhan of 50 Park Investments, adding that "the market is repricing for a potential increased military involvement in the Middle East."
Strong earnings from Amazon and Intel lifted the Nasdaq, but the other two major indices finished lower.
The broad-based S&P 500 finished at 4,117.37, down 0.5 percent for the day and off more than 10 percent from July 31 -- technically a correction.
A closely-watched indicator of US inflation stayed steady in September. The personal consumption expenditures price index rose 3.4 percent from a year ago -- the same rate as in the preceding two months.
The report comes ahead of next week's Federal Reserve meeting.
The figures "had a sticky feel to them, meaning they lacked a stronger trend of disinflation," said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare.
"That is apt to keep the Fed in a more hawkish mindset... the Fed won't be thinking about a rate cut anytime soon," he said.
The inflation data comes after figures released Thursday showed that the US economy had its best growth since late 2021 during the third quarter.
Asian equity markets rose on the strong US tech earnings, but European stocks finished lower as a number of companies failed to meet earnings expectations.
Meanwhile, oil prices finished up more than two percent following US strikes of Iranian-linked militias in Syria as officials in Washington insisted they did not want to widen the Middle East conflict.
It was the first US strike on Iranian interests since March, breaking a stretch of calm after the Biden administration opened quiet diplomacy with the US arch-enemy that led to a prisoner swap and conversations on Iran's disputed nuclear program.
The October 7 assault by Hamas and Israel's retaliatory strikes have inflamed the region. Iran's clerical leaders back Hamas, while the United States is the foremost ally of Israel.