A monitor on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange showing the Dow Jones Industrial Average about 22,000. Money also flowed into consumer discretionary stocks. What we're seeing today is political tensions over North Korea and the United States. making people nervous. "But we're in a low inflationary environment, which can help valuations remain elevated for longer than they would otherwise".
US stocks closed barely down on Wednesday as investors appeared to turn their focus away from North Korea-related geopolitical tension that weighed on equities for most of the session.
Trump's threats have escalated since reports broke at the beginning of the week that North Korea had successfully produced a nuclear warhead that could fit inside its missiles.
The Dow fell more than 200 points, a almost 1% drop, and its biggest dip in three months.
Still, the S&P and the Dow were on track to post their biggest weekly loss in about five months and the Nasdaq on course to post its biggest weekly fall in about six weeks.
The influential financial stocks were among the biggest drags on the index, with Royal Bank of Canada down 1.5 percent to C$92.88, and Manulife Financial Corp falling 4.7 percent to C$24.43, its largest drop since early August past year.
Global markets have closed in negative territory for the second day as concerns over North Korea continue.
"If the data continues to come in on the softer side, the market might start to price the Fed staying on hold this year", said Sireen Harajli, FX strategist at Mizuho in NY. The stock was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500, adding $8.02 to $45.25.
As a result, the volatility index reached a nine-month high, though it was close to record lows earlier this week, before the tensions sparked.
Most large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.
Mounting tensions lifted USA defense stocks.
Sterling was relatively flat against the dollar at 1.3002 after earlier wavering, but gained 0.14% on the euro to 1.1072, with the single currency down by a similar degree against the greenback, which in turn was down 0.38% against the yen. The Korean won fell against the United States dollar.
"I don't think this is the start of a change in (low volatility) regime".
Nordstrom shares were up 1.63 percent at $45.60 following the apparel retailer's better-than-expected quarterly same-store sales.
Priceline sank 6.9 per cent as it projected third-quarter earnings below analyst expectations.
Gold - generally regarded as a safer asset in times of uncertainty - hit its highest price for more than two months on Friday, touching $1,288.97 an ounce at one point.
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