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Wall Street Suffers on Worries about Syria, Debt Fight

All across the trading floor on Wall Street, the possibility of military intervention in Syria has caused traders to wince. Stocks tumbled for a second day as traders lost even more confidence.

The beginnings of another debt fight on Capitol Hill did nothing to ease investors fears, either.

Blue Chip stocks closed at a two-month low and the S&P closed at its lowest point in nearly two months, and the Nasdaq took a more than two-percent dive.

The only beneficiaries in this mess? Gold and oil. Gold moved upward for four days in a row, back to prices that haven’t been seen in three months.

Oil traders focused on the possibility of supply disruption in Syria, pending a military operation, and crude oil prices closed at $109 a barrel, the highest in a year-and-a-half.

Elsewhere, though, news was a little rosier. Tiffany expects to earn more money than originally forecast, and stronger sales in China have offset a mediocre summer for U.S. retailers.

Speaking of shoppers, U.S. consumer confidence rose unexpectedly in August. Despite Americans being less optimistic about their current situations, they believe that things will get better. One possible explanation for consumer confidence is the housing market rebound. However, some research shows that higher mortgage rates are slowing the recovery. According to the S&P-Case/Shiller Index, price gains weren’t as good as they’d been in prior months.

Finally, in cellular, BlackBerry is thinking of spinning off its BBM messaging service, according to the Wall Street Journal. A BlackBerry spokesperson refused to comment on the report, but two sources familiar with the product said that BlackBerry is putting human and financial capital to work as it prepares to launch non-BlackBerry devices in the next few weeks. And the company has already announced that it is exploring alternatives for its future.