Energy stocks have spiked while most of Wall Street fell after weekend attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities added to investors’ concerns about geopolitical risk and a stumbling global economy. The attacks on the world’s biggest crude exporter sent oil prices up more than 20 per cent before they eased, as various nations said they would tap emergency reserves to ensure stable supplies. The S&P 500 energy index, a gauge of one of the worst performing sectors so far this year, soared 3.3 per cent, its largest one-day gain since January.

Shares of Apache, Helmerich and Payne and Cimarex Energy jumped between 12 per cent and 17 per cent and led gainers on the S&P 500. The Saudi-led military coalition battling Yemen’s Houthi movement said the attacks were carried out with Iranian weapons, raising the prospect of a global conflict involving the United States and Iran. Anticipation of higher fuel costs drove down shares of airlines and cruise line operators with the S&P 1500 airlines index shedding 2.1 per cent, while Carnival fell 3.2 per cent.

The S&P 500 retailing index lost 1.4 per cent, with retailers, which would be hurt by higher fuel prices, among the biggest drags on the S&P 500. Shares of defence companies Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman rose more than 2 per cent. JP Morgan upgraded Raytheon shares to “overweight”. The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Monday fell 0.52 per cent to end at 27,076.82 points while the S&P 500 lost 0.31 per cent to 2,997.96.

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