Aug. 30 - Summary: Wall Street posts a modest Friday decline as Obama builds case for action against Syria; Apple starts iPhone trade program; Salesforce shines after earnings; U.S. shoppers weary. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Wall Street went home for the long holiday weekend on edge as the Obama Administration makes the case for action against Syria. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry: SOUNDBITE: U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It matters because if we choose to live in a world where a thug and a murderer like Bashar al-Assad can gas thousands of his own people with impunity, even after the United States and our allies said 'no,' and then the world does nothing about it, there will be no end to the test of our resolve and the dangers that will flow from those others who believe that they can do as they will." A pledge that there will be no U.S. boosts on the ground - not enough to shake investors' fears. And that added to a dismal monthly performance. August was still the worst month for equities since May 2012. Apple is launching a program that will allow customers to trade in older iPhone models in exchange for a credit towards an upgrade. The trade-in kicks-off ahead of an expected new iPhone unveiling in September. The iPhone is Apple's most profitable product. Salesforce.com was one of the top performers on the New York Stock Exchange. Several Wall Street firms raised price targets one-day after the cloud software company beat forecasts and guided full-year estimates higher. An update on the American Airlines-US Air merger. The airlines head to court on November in a fight against government efforts to block their tie-up. Consumer data pointing to tepid economic growth. Shoppers barely shopped last month and consumer sentiment was down this month. Finally, European stocks closed at a six-week closing low as oil prices cooled off from a heady rise earlier in the week.