The Swiss franc was on track for its biggest daily gain against the euro since the Swiss National Bank removed its cap on the currency in January 2015. Utilities companies were down the most.
North Korea said it was completing plans to fire four intermediate-range missiles over Japan to land near the U.S. Pacific island territory of Guam in an unusually detailed threat that further heightened tensions with the United States.
S&P 500 e-minis were down 4.5 points, or 0.18 percent, with 209,543 contracts traded.
Dow e-minis were down 24 points, or 0.11 percent, with 22,166 contracts changing hands.
Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 17 points, or 0.29 percent, on volume of 36,232 contracts.
Many world stock markets have hit record or multi-year highs in recent weeks, leaving them vulnerable to a selloff, and the tensions over North Korea proved to be the trigger.
Stock futures were trading lower on Friday, Aug. 11, as concerns over North Korea and President Donald Trump kept global markets on edge.
North Korea have since threatened to launch missiles at the USA territory of Guam.
Japanese markets were closed for a holiday. It's still the highest it's been since May. Inflation has risen 1.7% over the past 12 months, suggesting that inflation pressures remain well under control.
Federal Reserve Presidents Robert Kaplan and Neel Kashkari are scheduled to give speeches. But some economists say the Fed may stand pat for the rest of 2017 unless inflation accelerates in coming months.
Disney shares closed down 3.9 percent as investors were skeptical of its plan to launch streaming services rather than rely on Netflix.
Shares in several other big media companies also declined. They outweighed gains in health care stocks and elsewhere.
Trump's remarks on Tuesday that North Korea would face "fire and fury like the world has never seen" weighed on Wall Street and drove up the VIX "fear gauge", or the cost of protection against a drop in the S&P 500.
Retailers Wal-Mart (WMT), Home Depot (HD), Target (TGT), Staples (SPLS), and Gap (GPS) are also among the companies due to report their quarterly results next week.
On Thursday the greenback had shed 0.8 per cent versus the yen, with the Japanese currency rallying broadly against most major currencies. United States bond prices also rose while gold closed at its highest for the week up 1.52% to $1281. The euro fell to $1.1791 from $1.1774.
U.S. Treasury long-dated yields dropped to six-week lows, pressured by U.S. The major index futures are now pointing to a modestly higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 21 points. The consumer discretionary index was one of its biggest losers with a 0.47 percent drop.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan skidded 1.55%, its biggest one-day loss since mid-December. Overnight, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .miapj0000pus had skidded 1.55 percent, its biggest one-day loss since mid-December, to leave it down 2.5 percent for the week."What has changed this time is that the scary threats and war of words between the USA and North Korea have intensified to the point that markets can't ignore it", said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at AMP Capital in Sydney.
This article was originally published at 6:55 a.m.