United States stocks fall on North Korea worries

Gladys Abbott
August 13, 2017

Technology and health care companies led USA stocks slightly higher in morning trading Friday, recouping some of the losses from the day before.

Stock markets around the world were under pressure on Wednesday amid increased tensions between the USA and North Korea following comments from President Donald Trump, and big entertainment stocks were among the many decliners.

Macy's (M.N) shares closed down 10.2 percent and Kohl's (KSS.N) fell nearly 6 percent as the companies continued to report a drop in quarterly same-store sales, stoking concerns that their turnarounds may still be a long way off.

Wall Street put a floor under global equities on Friday after a weak inflation reading brought investors back into USA stocks even as tensions between the United States and North Korea continued to escalate and inspire safe-haven buying of gold and the yen.

The CBOE Volatility Index .VIX , the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, ended at a session low of 11.11 after rising as high as 12.63.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 35 points, or 1.4 percent, to 2,438, its biggest drop since mid-May. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average added 39 points, or 0.2 percent, to 21,883. The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 1%, while benchmarks in Hong Kong and South Korea - which had been one of the best performers of 2017 - closed down 2% and 1.7% respectively, Friday, putting the week's drop at 2.5% and 3.2%.

Major U.S. indices had posted record highs in recent weeks.

Charter Communications rose 2.9 per cent on news Altice is exploring a bid for the cable giant.

Global markets were sharply lower on Wednesday. Investors welcomed new data showing US inflation at the consumer level inched higher last month, suggesting that the Federal Reserve may be less likely to raise interest rates next month. On the Nasdaq, 1,462 issues rose and 1,227 fell.

More news: Global stocks fall on rising unease over North Korea

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 109.87 yen from 110.48 yen late Tuesday.

Ongoing global glut concerns lingered in oil markets despite a bigger-than-expected draw in USA crude inventories, leaving prices volatile.

Ralph Lauren gained $10.38, or 13.3 percent, to $88.53, while peer-to-peer loan company LendingClub added 99 cents, or 18.1 percent, to $6.45.

Shares of Michael Kors (KORS.N) jumped 22.3 percent, helping to boost the consumer discretionary index.SPLRCD, after the luxury goods maker raised its full-year revenue forecast.

Sterling was also down 0.1% versus the euro at 1.104. Britain's FTSE 100 was down 1.1 percent.

Update: The FTSE 100 has slumped further into the red amid persisting fears over North Korea tensions, with the sell-off accelerated by a slump in United States markets.

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

Frankfurt's DAX 30 was also down, shedding some 0.8 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 slipped 0.3 percent, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.5 percent.

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