Dow Recoils After Baghdad Rocket Strike Report Reverses Stock Rally

The Dow recoiled in the minutes before the closing bell as reports spread of rockets landing in the Baghdad Green Zone in Iraq.

Reports of a rocket strike in Iraq triggered a sharp sell-off in stocks in the minutes before the market closed. | Source: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

  • Stocks careened from their session highs in the minutes before the closing bell.
  • The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all suffered substantial setbacks.
  • The sudden pullback followed reports of rocket fire in Baghdad.

The headlines will tell you that the Dow advanced by triple digits on Wednesday.

Dow Stumbles Into the Closing Bell; Gold & Oil Prices Bounce

But after the bellwether index flirted with a 300-point surge, the stock market’s record-setting day almost unraveled in the minutes before the closing bell.


The Dow collapsed ahead of the closing bell, paring its gains by more than 100 points. | Source: Yahoo Finance

The Nasdaq and S&P 500 suffered similar pullbacks, while the gold and oil prices bounced off their session lows.

Gold (blue) and oil (black) bounced off their session lows as equities stumbled into the close. | Source: Yahoo Finance

Reports: Rockets Land in Baghdad Green Zone

The abrupt swing in risk sentiment coincided with on-the-ground reports of rocket fire in Baghdad’s Green Zone.

Source: Twitter

Fox News foreign correspondent Trey Yingst posted the following video on Twitter. Turn up the volume,  and you can hear blaring sirens and an ominous “incoming” warning.

A Reuters newsflash confirmed the strike, stating that police sources said multiple Katyusha rockets had fallen within the Green Zone of Iraq’s capital city and started a fire. According to the Iraqi military, no casualties had been reported.

Further details remain slim, but the new development comes just hours after President Donald Trump told Americans that Iran appeared to be standing down after launching a barrage of missile strikes that analysts described as “harmless.”

Trump’s comments helped ignite a phenomenal stock market rally as Wall Street gambled that the worst of the US-Iran military hostilities had already passed, particularly since Iran appeared to deliberately avoid killing US personnel.

Last modified: September 23, 2020 1:28 PM

Josiah Wilmoth: Josiah is the former U.S. Editor at, where he focused on financial markets. He lives in rural Virginia. Connect with him on LinkedIn or email him directly at josiah.wilmoth(at)