Technology companies were leading a broad slide in US stocks in early trading Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017, as investors pored over the latest batch of corporate earnings reports.
The decline followed overnight losses on Wall Street.
"The escalation of the geopolitical situation between the USA and North Korea is beginning to rattle investors' nerves as was witnessed in the VIX index yesterday", said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial.
Trump was responding to North Korea's claim it was completing plans to fire four intermediate-range missiles over Japan to land near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.
President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that USA threats from Pyongyang would be met with "fire and fury", which prompted North Korea to say it was considering plans for a missile strike on the us pacific territory of Guam. Dillard's, however, posted much weaker-than-expected results, sending the stock down 15 percent. The consumer discretionary index was one of its biggest losers with a 0.47 percent drop.
Meanwhile, market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. backtracked 0.65 percent, and top automaker Hyundai Motor was down 0.34 percent.
USA stocks moved lower in morning trading Wednesday as traders weighed the growing tensions between the US and North Korea.
METALS: Gold, a traditional safe haven play, was moving higher.
Retail results are also on investors' mind as the second-quarter earning season winds down. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.2 per cent to 5,693.10.
While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has slumped by 1.5 percent, the German DAX Index is down by 1.1 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.8 percent.
"I think the market was looking for a reason to come off here", said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds.
All the 11 major S&P indexed were lower, with technology sector's 0.62% leading the decliners. Silver gained 20 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $17.07 an ounce.
Barrick Gold Corp rose 2.3 per cent to C$21.74 as the price of gold, a safe-haven asset, reached its highest levels in two months. The Russell 2000 index gave up 1.7 per cent to 1,372.54. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, gained 10 cents to $52.24 in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 109.24 yen from 109.20 while the euro weakened to $1.1756 from $1.1773. With one session left to go, the S&P 500 was headed for a weekly drop of around 1.6%, which would be its biggest since a fall of 1.9% for the week ended November 4, 2016.