Trump on North Korea; Google scandal; Trouble at Snap

Lloyd Doyle
August 13, 2017

US stock benchmarks were setting up for more losses Friday, with the S&P 500 facing its worst weekly performance since November, as U.S.

US stocks fell sharply on Thursday, with the Dow slipping more than 100 points, as lackluster results from retailers Macy's and Kohl's added to investor nervousness over escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea. Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman and the Dow Jones U.S. defense index was up 1.48 percent after hitting a record high. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has fallen by 0.8 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are down by 1.5 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively. An in-line print may not be enough to meaningfully rattle the Treasury market, however, which saw 10-year yields crack 2.20 percent on Thursday for the first time since June as part of a flight to safety.

The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 13.91 points, or 0.22 percent, at 6,397.68.

Most recently, Pyongyang called President Trump's "fire and fury" threats a "load of nonsense", and detailed plans on a potential missile strike against Guam - which prompted warnings from South Korea and Japan.

After a dip of as much as 0.52 percent earlier in the day, investors appeared to take some comfort in Tillerson's comments, said Richard Steinberg, managing director at HighTower Advisors in NY.

Second-quarter earnings have been stronger than expected with analysts now expecting S&P 500 earnings to have expanded 11.8 percent, compared with 8 percent at the start of July, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The stock is up 54% so far this year.

All four of the big-tech FANG stocks opened sharply lower.

"In the event that war should break out, and that leads to an acceptance of further loose monetary and fiscal policy in the United States, we would expect a falling USA dollar real yield environment, giving renewed, and sustainable, impetus to monetary metals prices". On the Nasdaq, 1,596 issues rose and 1,112 fell. The September copper contract was down two cents to US$2.91 a pound.

A notable decline by Disney ( DIS ) is likely to help drag the Dow lower, with the entertainment giant under pressure in pre-market trading.

It was a down day for Asian stocks, as traders shied away from riskier assets amid the ongoing war of words between North Korea and the U.S. The biggest loser in the region was Hong Kong's Hang Seng, which dropped 1.1%. The euro slid to $1.1752 from $1.1793. Wholesale inventories are expected to climb by 0.6 percent. Both the core and headline rates are expected to have risen by 0.2 percent during July. China's Shanghai Composite followed suit with a 0.4% retreat, after the latest consumer prices index for the country rose less than expected, and the producer price index met forecasts.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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