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Here’s What a Mideast Conflict Did to Oil 777彩票地址 In the First Gulf War

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Middle Eastern geopolitical tensions are roiling the stock market. Photograph by Fayez Nureldine/AFP via Getty Images

Middle Eastern geopolitical tensions are roiling the stock market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, for instance, is down 0.8% in early Friday trading after the U.S. killed in Iraq. The news sent oil prices surging, up about 4%.

Investors want some help figuring out what it all means. History can offer a guide. Here’s what happened during the first Gulf War, the 1990s era conflict when the U.S. defended Kuwait against the invading Iraqis.

  • The conflict ran from August 1990 to February 1991. Over that span—from just before the Iraqi invasion through the end of February—the S&P 500 Index gained 3.2%. The more-concentrated Dow dropped 0.6%.
  • Benchmark crude-oil prices, while volatile, fell 11%. The U.S., after all, won the conflict.
  • Energy and industrial components of the S&P 500 dropped about 3% and 1%, respectively.
  • Consumer staples and utilities, relatively safe sectors of the economy, rose 14% and 2%, respectively.

777彩票地址There have, of course, been other conflicts to look at and, unfortunately, investors are inured to Mideast unrest. This is how one rapidly developing geopolitical event impacted markets a generation ago.

Write to Al Root at allen.root@dowjones.com

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