March 18, 2018

U.S. stocks tumble on North Korea worries

12 August 2017, 06:34 | Melvin Schneider

Donald Trump's comments reflected his growing anger with Pyongyang aides said

Donald Trump's comments reflected his growing anger with Pyongyang aides said

The South Korean Won is also suffering, falling by 0.8% to a four-week low against the United States dollar. Utilities companies were down the most.

"While it appears that Pyongyang's detailed strike plan against Guam has created a sour backdrop to trading, it's worth noting that US/North Korea tensions aren't having quite the same effect on the DAX and CAC", said Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell. The S&P 500 sank 1.7% from Tuesday to Thursday, the Dow fell 1.1%, and the Nasdaq dropped 2.4%.

At 12:28 p.m. ET (1628 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 52.87 points, or 0.24 percent, at 22,032.47, the S&P 500 was down 2.8 points, or 0.11 percent, at 2,472.12.

The S&P/TSX composite index was down 91.01 points to 15,126.32, after 90 minutes of trading. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 1 point, or 0.1%, to 1,373.

"There is a low probability that we will have a war with North Korea", he said, and a larger pullback in stocks is "a buyable drop".

Overnight, US and Asian stock markets slipped into risk-off mode late on, as Trump warned North Korea would be "met with fire and fury and, frankly, power the likes of which the world has never seen before" if it continues to threaten the US.

Still, the market has had several fits and starts over the past few months.

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In other words, investors are dumping stocks and buying bonds, which many view as a safe haven in times of turmoil. It's still the highest it's been since May.

Positive sentiment was also generated by a report from the Labor Department showing a modest uptick in consumer prices in the month of July. The Federal Reserve, which raised its key interest rate in March and June, has signaled it plans a third rate hike before the end of this year. But some economists say the Fed may stand pat for the rest of 2017 unless inflation accelerates in coming months.

Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with the technology's .SPLRCT 0.36 percent rise leading the advancers.

Health-care equipment and services company Henry Schein declined amid a broader slide by health care stocks. The boost today continues the rental vehicle stock's pattern of big post-earnings moves, and has the shares testing their 180-day moving average, a level the stock has not surpassed since September 2016. Travel-review website operator TripAdvisor was down 2.7 percent. Vertex Pharmaceuticals picked up $3.19, or 2.1%, to $151.73.

Security outsourcing group G4S was the biggest faller after it reported slower than expected growth in the second quarter but held its first-half dividend steady, as management declared their increased confidence in prospects thanks to the "substantial progress" being made with restructuring. Kohl's said net income for the second quarter was $208 million, or $1.24 per share, versus $140 million, or 77 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

Benchmark U.S. crude was down 21 cents to $48.38 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Natural gas gained 2 cents to $2.82 per 1,000 cubic feet. On the Nasdaq, 1,462 issues rose and 1,227 fell. Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.1 percent.

Still, the main indexes have not yet recouped losses sustained over a three-day stretch of red ink earlier this week. The Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.

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