Escalating tension in Syria is shaking Asian and European markets and U.S. stock futures, as the U.S. contemplates intervening with military action after John Kerry accused Bashar al-Assad's government of using chemical weapons on its citizens.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 78 points to 14,853, while those for the S&P 500 index sunk 9.7 points to 1,645 and Nasdaq 100 futures gave back 22 points to 3,100.
In Europe, the FTSE 100 fell 0.6%, the DAX lost 1.6% and the Euro Stoxx 50, a gauge of blue chip stocks on the continent, plummeted 1.6%.
Meanwhile in Asia, the Nikkei tumbled 0.7% and the Hang Seng lost 0.6%.
Geopolitical turmoil may divert attention away from the day-to-day assessment of economic data, the latest of which highlights the housing sector when the S&P Case-Shiller home price index comes out at 9 a.m. On Wednesday, a leading indicator of industry activity, the National Association of Realtors' pending home sales index, is released.
Later this morning at 10 a.m., markets will see signs of how consumers are faring with the release of the Conference Board's consumer confidence index.
In corporate news, shares of J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) are falling 2% in pre-market trading a day after Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management said it will sell its entire stake in the retailer.
Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) founder Richard Schulze plans to sell some of his 20% stake in the electronics chain to diversify his portfolio. He has attempted without success to buy the company outright. Shares are slumping more than 2% before the bell.
Shares of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) moved above the IPO price earlier this month for the first time since May, which could be part of the reason chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg sold 176,452 shares in the company on Aug. 22, according to a securities filing late Monday. Shares dropped 1.3%.
In commodities, gold is taking on its default role as a safe haven investment, rising 1.9% or $26 to $1,419 an ounce. Oil is also surging, up 2.2% or $2.26 to $108.20.