Futures lower as North Korea tensions linger

Joanna Estrada
August 12, 2017

Late Tuesday, President Trump warned North Korea about facing "fire and fury" if North Korea delivers more threats against the U.S.

In Asia, markets were mostly lower after disappointing Chinese trade data.

In an apparent response to Trump's tweet, a statement issued by North Korea's official KCNA news agency claimed the president is "driving the situation on the Korean peninsula to the brink of a nuclear war".

Gains among technology companies helped snap a three-day losing streak for US stocks Friday, though the market ended with its worst weekly loss since March.

Manulife Financial Corp was down 1.1 percent to C$25.64.

The S&P 500 has closed within 0.30% of its opening level in 16 of the last 17 days of trading. Consumer-focused companies and technology stocks slumped.

Energy stocks retreated 0.5 percent, despite higher oil prices.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.7% at closing, France's CAC 40 fell 1.4% after a vehicle hit a group of soldiers in Paris in what is thought to have been a deliberate act, and a fall in bond yields saw Germany's DAX down 1.1%.

But although USA equities on Wednesday managed to close only slightly down even after Trump's warning that "fire and fury" would rain on North Korea, on Thursday the chickens came home to roost on Wall Street.

The remarks followed a new report asserting that United States intelligence has assessed that Pyongyang has successfully produced a nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles. The S&P 500 index was down 18.45 points to 2,455.57 and the Nasdaq composite index was down 68.32 points to 6,284.01.

The Nasdaq composite lost 13.31 points, or 0.2%, to 6,370.46. Investors' uncertainty, measured by the VIX volatility index, is still at higher levels not seen since the election, but stock markets are back to positive returns.

Dow e-minis were down 35 points, or 0.16 percent, with 37,467 contracts changing hands at 8:40 a.m. ET (1240 GMT).

The yield on USA 10-year Treasurys slid to 2.192% Friday from 2.211% Thursday.

Dean Foods Co.'s stock plunged 21 percent after reporting earnings in the second-quarter that were way below investors' expectations.

The market indexes wavered between small gains and losses for much of the morning, then veered lower by afternoon. Brent crude, the global standard, lost 23 cents to 52.14 dollars a barrel in London. Shares of Manulife, which reported better-than-expected results, fell after the company played down talk of a John Hancock spin-off.

Avis Budget Group slumped 9.9% after the auto rental company cut its guidance following a weak second quarter.

The dollar slipped to 109.04 yen from 109.26 late Thursday.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 23 cents to settle at $48.82 a barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The euro rose to $1.1812 from $1.1774.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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