STOCKS FALL TO END WORST MONTH SINCE MAY 2012: Here's What You Need To Know

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A man reacts as a performer dressed in a Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur costume walks next to him during a publicity event in central Sydney, August 28, 2013.

The S&P 500 fell ny 3.2% in August, making it the worst month since May 2012. But considering all of the geopolitical uncertainty, it could've been worse.

First, the scoreboard:

  • Dow:  14,810.3, -30.6, -0.2 %
  • S&P 500: 1,632.9, -5.2, -0.3%
  • NASDAQ: 3,589.8, -30.4, -0.8%

And now, the top stories:

  • Volatility briefly touched the oil and stock markets as Secretary of State John Kerry addressed Syrian President Assad's attack on his people. "The primary question is no longer what do we know," Kerry said. "It is what are we in the world going to do about it?"
  • Three key U.S. economic reports hit this morning. First was the July personal income and outlays report. Income climbed by just 0.1%, which was less than the 0.2% expected by economists. Spending rose by just 0.1%, which was below the 0.3% expected.
  • The University of Michigan's final August measure of consumer sentiment came in at 82.1, which was better than the 80.5 expected by economists. Still, this is down from July's six-month high of 85.1. "While today's final consumer sentiment reading was positive, geopolitical concerns could cause sentiment to dip in the coming weeks," said Deutsche Bank's Joe LaVorgna.
  • The closely watched Chicago PMI climbed to 53.0 in August from 52.3 in July. However, the employment sub-index fell to 54.9 from 56.6. "Yes the Chicago PMI employment pulled back slightly but there was a big jump in new orders to 57.2," said BTIG's Dan Greenhaus. "Chicago PMI has the highest correlation with national ISM."
  • Don't Miss: 19 Haunting Photos From The Golden Days Of The Texas Oil Boom »
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