Futures barely higher as Syrian tension escalates

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Specialist James Sciulli works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013. Worries about a potential military strike against Syria are dragging down the U.S. stock market in early trading. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock futures are modestly higher while global exchanges are falling, with Western nations laying the groundwork for potential military strikes in Syria.

Escalating tensions in Syria are sending gold prices to three-month highs and crude rocketing to two-year highs above $112 per barrel in early trading.

Dow Jones industrial futures are up 2 points to 14,750. S&P futures have added less than a point to 1,628.90. Nasdaq futures are up 2.75 points to 3,062.25.

Trading is extremely light, however, with no major economic indicators due, and U.N. chemical weapons experts fanning out in a suburb of Damascus to investigate purported poison gas attacks in Syria.

Also on Wednesday, a report from the National Association of Realtors is expected by many to show flat or declining home sales as mortgage rates rise.