Stocks plunge over North Korea tensions

Marco Green
August 13, 2017

The reclusive state raised the stakes further on Thursday with a detailed plan to send a salvo of missiles towards the U.S. territory of Guam.

U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Thursday that he will respond forcefully to any North Korean attack on the U.S. or its allies.

"The overall "Fear Factor" is the markets worst enemy that will feed on itself, leading to increased hedging".

"It's wonderful when you consider the headlines just how calm the equity markets are, how they've taken things in their stride", said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial in Charlotte, North Carolina.

METALS: Gold, a traditional safe haven play, was moving higher.

The CBOE Volatility Index .VIX , a barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, closed at its highest since the US presidential election on Thursday, but was down 1.22 points at 14.82 points on Friday.

The Nasdaq Composite was down 37.30 points, or 0.59%, at 6 315.03.

The last time the S&P 500 fell over 1 percent was on May. 17.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. backtracked 2.79 percent to 2,231,000 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. was down 4.66 percent to 61,400 won.

Retail results are also on investors' mind as the second-quarter earning season winds down.

The price of gold, a universal safe haven asset, has risen almost 3 percent over the past four days, hovering at $1,290 per ounce, its highest since early June.

Wall Street's downbeat start followed a slide in major stock indexes in Europe and Asia.

Inflation has risen 1.7 percent over the past 12 months, suggesting that inflation pressures remain well under control. The pan-European benchmark on Wednesday fell 0.7% in a sell-off prompted by tensions between the U.S. and North Korea escalated.

Helping offset the geopolitical tensions was weaker-than-expected consumer price data for July, pointing to benign inflation that could make the Federal Reserve cautious about raising interest rates again this year.

Blue Apron slumped as much as 19.1 percent to a record low after the meal-kit delivery service provider reported a bigger-than-expected loss in its first quarterly report as a public company.

Perrigo surged 16.08% after the drugmaker raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 2.29-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.47-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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