Published: Thu, August 10, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

S&P closes barely lower despite N. Korea tensions

S&P closes barely lower despite N. Korea tensions

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 Dow also fell 0.5% to dip briefly back below the 22,000 mark, and the Nasdaq tumbled almost 1%. The Nasdaq composite advanced 0.4% to 6,408. The index has fallen to its lowest intraday level in well over a month. Consumer-focused companies and banks were among the biggest decliners. They outweighed gains in health care stocks and elsewhere.

TECH SLIDE: Losses among technology stocks led the market slide.

USA stocks were lower around mid-day as tensions escalated between the United States and North Korea and disappointing quarterly results overshadowed a gain in June wholesale inventories, weak Q2 labor costs and better-than-expected productivity.

"Kim Jong Un says a lot of things and he makes a lot of threats, but at the end of the day he knows that if he should undertake any kind of military strike against the United States and its allies, the counter response will likely be the end of his regime", she told CNN.

"Right now the market is viewing it as a lot of saber-rattling and a lot of smoke, but not much fire", said Darrell Cronk, president of Wells Fargo Investment Institute.

It was a down day for Asian stocks, as traders shied away from riskier assets amid the ongoing war of words between North Korea and the U.S. The biggest loser in the region was Hong Kong's Hang Seng, which dropped 1.1%.

North Korea claimed "only absolute force" can work on someone as "bereft of reason" as Trump and detailed plans to fire a salvo of missiles into waters around the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

Kids play in the sand in Tumon Guam on Thursday Aug. 10 2017. The small U.S. territory of Guam has become a focal point after North Korea’s army threatened to use ballistic missiles to create an “enveloping fire” around the island. The exclamatio

He is responding to Trump's warning that North Korea could face "fire and fury" if it threatens the United States after a new report said USA intelligence officials believe Pyongyang has successfully produced a nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles. Gold and bond prices were headed higher. But the moves were modest.

The Russell 2000 is down 15.37 points, or 1.1 percent. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.22 percent from 2.26 percent late Tuesday.

THE QUOTE: While the tough talk about the potential for war is scary, investors have heard it many times before. The U.S., in turn, has heavily fortified Guam - in part to keep an eye on North Korea.

Beyond geopolitical concerns, investors continued to size up company earnings reports. The stock lost $142.20 to $1,906.80.

Blue Apron Holdings Inc (NYSE:APRN) posted a steeper-than-expected loss in its first quarterly report as a public company, though the meal service provider's revenue exceeded forecasts and its customer base grew by 23% during the past year. The unemployment rate dipped in July to a 16-year low of 4.3%, and employers have added more than 1 million jobs since Trump took office.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 39 cents to $49.95 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, added 21 cents to $52.91.

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