The FTSE 100 fell by more than 100 points as global investors continued to act on North Korea-related jitters.
Nordstrom shares were up 1.63 percent at $45.60 following the apparel retailer's better-than-expected quarterly same-store sales.
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.
Oanda analyst Craig Erlam said: "Risk aversion is once again the name of the game.as geopolitical tensions mount and investors head for cover in the traditional safe havens".
USA equities steepened their losses late in the session after President Donald Trump said his earlier warnings to North Korea may not have been tough enough.
North Korea said it was considering plans to fire missiles at Guam, a US -held Pacific island, after President Trump's warning on Tuesday.
After scaling back from record highs earlier in the session, Wall Street's three major indexes dipped after Trump said North Korea "will be met with fire and fury" like the world has never seen if it threatens the United States.
In the cash market, the blue chip Dow Jones industrial Average is trading 22028.67, down 56.67 or -0.26%.
"When investors are optimistic to the extreme, it means that most of their money is already in the market and there's no more money coming in", Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Robert W. Baird & Co in Sarasota, Florida.
U.S. stocks have risen week after week this year - with the S&P up more than 9 percent - in extremely low volatility, as strong corporate earnings and an improving global economy offset disappointment that U.S. President Donald Trump's promises to lower corporate taxes and implement a massive infrastructure spending have so far failed to see the light of day.
"This inflation data for the month was not good".
Until this week, the equity market had managed to shake off negative news, including previous saber-rattling over North Korea and failures in Washington to pass high-profile bills, such as repealing and replacing Obamacare.
Overall, the healthcare sector slumped 3.4 percent. They are looking for confirmation the Fed is sticking with plans for a possible December interest rate hike.
The dollar slipped to 109.04 yen from 109.26 late Thursday. Regions Financial shed 23 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $14.07. It was last up 1.2 percent at 1.1305 per euro.
Trading volume also picked up in the late afternoon of what had been a sleepy summer session while the U.S. Congress is expected to be in recess until Sept 5. Chinese blue chips closed flat but Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.4 per cent. The Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.