North Korea tensions drag down stocks but boost gold

North Korea tensions drag down stocks but boost gold

The major averages ended the session just off their worst levels of the day.

On Wednesday, the Dow closed down 0.2% at 22,048.70, the S&P 500 closed less than 0.1% lower at 2,474.02, and the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.3% to 6,352.33.

"The most visible impact of escalating verbal threats between North Korea and President Trump comes at the long end of the US Treasury curve", said Jim Vogel, interest rates strategist at FTN Financial in Memphis. North Korea also laid out detailed plans of how it would launch a missile strike on US military bases in Guam (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/north-korea-details-plan-to-fire-missiles-toward-guam-says-only-absolute-force-will-work-with-trump-2017-08-09).

If the North Korean government continues with their threats, Trump promised that they "will be met with fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which the world has never seen before".

"We are prepared for any eventuality, more so than any other American community", he said.

North Korea made a similar threat a few years ago.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 39 cents to settle at $49.56 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The FTSE 100 is underperforming the DAX and CAC 40 because of several companies that are in the British index are paying dividends. "We're going to take good care of Guam".

BONDS: Bond prices rose. Job openings jumped 8 percent to 6.2 million, the Labor Department said Tuesday.

Infected DNA successfully hacks computer in terrifying experiment
As terrifying as this may sound, there is very little risk of your computer being hacked by DNA anytime soon. The hack makes use of technology in which digital bits of data are converted into synthetic DNA.

Jobless claims increased to 244,000 in the latest week, although continuing claims declined.

'Equity markets have behaved as you would expect by selling off sharply, an entirely predictable outcome at any time but more so when volatility levels are as low as they are, which now suggests that these moves lower have the potential to gather pace until the rhetoric gets dialled back'. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 13.20 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,396.95.

Retail results are also on investors' mind as the second-quarter earning season winds down.

The stage was set for the US indexes to go lower early Wednesday as investors around the world reacted to the rising war of words between the USA and North Korea, pushing global market indexes lower.

Overall, gold continued to edge higher to the $1,280 per ounce area in European trading.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region saw further downside during trading on Thursday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was off 0.3 percent. On August 9, the market started the day with a weaker sentiment but regained strength as the day progressed.

The euro edged 0.3 percent lower to 1.1726 against the dollar.

Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (FOXA.O) was down 2.65 percent following quarterly revenue that fell short of expectations.

While North Korea is likely to remain in focus, a report on consumer price inflation may also attract attention on Friday, with consumer prices expected to rise by 0.2 percent in July.