US stocks slide amid heightened US-North Korea tensions

Marco Green
August 13, 2017

Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 120 points, or 0.5 percent, to 21,928. With the upward move, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 rebounded after ending Thursday's trading at their lowest closing levels in a month. The Nasdaq composite lost 76 points, or 1.2 percent, to 6,275. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 13.20 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,396.95.

"U.S. -North Korean military tensions continued to dominate sentiment, pushing U.S. bond yields down and increasing the price of gold", analysts at VTB Capital said in a note. In three days. the Nasdaq has lost 2.6% - the most since last September.

Computer hardware stocks rebounded following recent weakness, with the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index climbing by 1.4%.

Escalating tensions around Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions sent a shiver through markets worldwide and pushed the dollar to below 109.7 yen in afternoon forex trade to an eight-week low against the safe haven currency, piling more pressure on Japanese stocks.

Tensions between North Korea and the US have intensified in recent days after Trump warned of severe retribution should the authoritarian state proceed with any more missile tests or threats. The general also outlined plans to launch four Hwasong-12 ballistic missiles to strike the sea around US territory Guam. The slide deepened after Trump's remarks on North Korea aired.

The Vix, Wall Street's so-called fear index, spiked last night as tensions between the United States and North Korea continued to escalate.

Investors said the week's swings were as much a result of earnings as geopolitics.

Priceline Group slumped 6.5% after issuing a profit forecast that was weaker than analysts were expecting. The stock fell $3.30 to $30.09.

Shares of Kohl's were down 8.4 percent, while Macy's fell 4 percent after the department store operators reported a fall in sales. And Blue Apron shares dipped after its first earnings report as a public company.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 24 cents to $48.37 per barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, used to price global oils, declined 20 cents to $51.70 per barrel in London. It added 39 cents to $49.56 a barrel on Wednesday. The euro slid to $1.1732 from $1.1752. Silver gained 14 cents to $16.39 an ounce. The September copper contract was down two cents to US$2.91 a pound.

Markets overseas were mixed Tuesday.

The Labor Department said its consumer price index inched up by 0.1 percent in July after coming in unchanged in June. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index plunged by 2%, while South Korea's Kospi Index slumped by 1.7%.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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