Major benchmarks pulled back on Monday in the wake of a series of coordinated aerial attacks linked to Iranian weapons caused significant damage to the world's largest oil-processing facility in Saudi Arabia. Investors worried that the resulting surge in oil prices and any subsequent military escalation could hamper global economic growth.

After eight consecutive positive sessions, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) lost roughly half a percent, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) closed down 0.3%.

Today's stock market

Index Percentage Change (Decline) Point Change
Dow (0.52%) (142.70)
S&P 500 (0.31%) (9.43)

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

As for individual stocks, Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN) popped along with the spike in crude oil, and General Motors (NYSE:GM) lost ground as tens of thousands of union workers went on strike.

LED display showing the price of oil, gas, and propane with red and green arrows indicating gains or losses.

Image source: Getty Images.

Devon Energy leads the charge

Shares of Devon Energy surged 12.2% as investors cheered the oil and natural gas exploration and production leader's position as a key beneficiary of higher oil prices. Of course, Devon Energy wasn't the only oil-industry stock to rally -- the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration and Production ETF (NYSEMKT:XOP), for example, gained 10.8% -- but Devon's jump was certainly one of the most pronounced. 

Earlier Monday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Saturday's aerial strikes were "a reciprocal response to aggression against Yemen for years." The attacks reportedly cut off around half of Saudia Arabia's daily crude production, reducing global oil supplies by 5%.

Late yesterday, U.S. President Trump authorized the release of oil from the United States' Strategic Petroleum Reserve, "if needed," to "keep the markets well-supplied" and stem the rise in oil prices.

General Motors is 49,000 workers short

Meanwhile, shares of General Motors dropped 4.3% after 49,000 members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union went on strike -- the first such event since a two-day walkout in 2007 -- as monthslong contract negotiations with the automotive giant stalled. The strike impacted 33 of GM's manufacturing plants and 22 parts-distribution warehouses across nine states.

In a tweet yesterday afternoon, GM revealed its latest four-year offer to the UAW included over $7 billion in incremental investments and more than 5,400 new jobs, as well as higher wages each year, improved profit-sharing, and expanded healthcare coverage. But UAW leaders, for their part, insist the offer leaves both sides far from reaching a deal.

"We clearly understand the hardship that [the strike] may cause," said UAW VP Terry Dittes. "We are standing up for fair wages, we are standing up for affordable quality healthcare, [and] we are standing up for our share of the profits."