U.S. stocks close slightly lower after Disney earnings disappoint

Gladys Abbott
August 12, 2017

In the first four days of the week, the Standard & Poor's 500 index swung from marking its latest record high to posting its biggest single-day drop in almost three months. Both were coming off record highs. Crude briefly pared losses in late trading after US inventories fell more than expected last week. Economic data also supported the S&P 500's rally to fresh highs.

CURRENCIES: The euro was down 0.1 percent at $1.175 while the dollar fell 0.6 percent to 109.68 yen. The index had its biggest drop since mid-May a day earlier. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 120 points, or 0.5 percent, to 21,928. The Nasdaq added 39.68 points, or 0.6 percent, to 6,256.56.

The S&P fell as much as 0.52 percent at its session low. The stock is up 54% so far this year.

Investors had rushed to safe-haven assets after strongly worded exchanges between Washington and nuclear-armed North Korea late on Tuesday. "President Trump's comments about North Korea have created nervousness".

Trump's comments came after reports that North Korea has spurned a new round of sanctions approved by the UN Security Council. That's never a reassuring sign for market bulls. It's still the highest it's been since May. The precious metal miners benefited from the flight to safety, with bullion prices hitting near two-month highs on North Korean worries.

The dollar weakened after news that US producer prices unexpectedly fell in July, recording their biggest drop in almost a year and pointing to a further moderation in inflation that could delay a Federal Reserve interest rate increase. MetLife fell 75 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $47.56, while Charles Schwab slid 69 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $41.33. They are looking for confirmation that the Fed is sticking with plans for a possible December interest rate hike. "The global economy is really on some firm footing", he said.

Investors retreated from several of this year's top performers on Thursday, including shares of large USA technology companies and biotechnology firms, while lifting shares of utilities companies - often thought of as bond proxies due to their relatively hefty dividends.

More news: N. Korea nerves push stocks down for third day

Meanwhile, market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. backtracked 3.02 percent to 2,314,000 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. was down 3.17 percent to 64,200 won. Seagate shares rose 74 cents to $32.29. A soft inflation figure below market consensus, is likely to quell expectations of higher U.S. interest rates, ultimately pressuring the Dollar.

Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with the consumer discretionary index's 10.2% fall leading the decliners. The stock lost 78 cents to $3.93. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 1.5 basis points at 2.226%.

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. Brent crude dipped 5 cents to $52.18 a barrel.

In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline rose 1 cent to $1.61 a gallon, while heating oil was little changed at $1.63 a gallon. Silver gained 14 cents to $16.39 an ounce. Copper rose 1 cent to $2.91 a pound.

The South African Rand slipped to its weakest position against the US Dollar in a month on Wednesday, a day after widely unpopular President Jacob Zuma survived a vote of no confidence in Parliament. On the Nasdaq, 1,787 issues fell and 564 advanced.

Similarly, Andy Schectman, president of Miles Franklin, shared why he thinks the market is setting up for a major gold uptake. Germany's DAX was flat, while France's CAC 40 fell 1.1 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 sank 1.3 percent.

Yes, the VIX volatility index remains historically low at just 15.4. Australia was off 1.2 percent. Japan was closed on a public holiday.

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