USA stocks tumble on North Korea worries

Xavier Trudeau
Août 13, 2017

Technology companies led a broad slide in US stocks Thursday afternoon, putting the market on track for its biggest loss in two months. Banks and department store shares also were among the big decliners.

Trump was responding to North Korea's claim it was completing plans to fire four intermediate-range missiles over Japan to land near the US Pacific territory of Guam. Oil prices veered lower as early gains faded. The Nasdaq composite lost 76 points, or 1.2 percent, to 6,275. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 120 points, or 0.5 percent, to 21,928.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index fell 143.08 points to 15,074.25, with almost all of its sectors moving lower. The S&P has lost more than 1 percent on only three days this year.

Trump, whose threat this week to bring "fire and fury" was dismissed by North Korea, said Thursday that statement might not have been "tough enough".

The U.S. equity market is hovering near record levels and volume has been tepid following the onset of summer.

United States stocks deepened their losses following the latest Trump comments, and the S&P 500 volatility index, known unofficially as the "fear index", rose decisively.

TECH SLIDE: Losses among technology stocks led the market slide.

On average, the S&P 500 falls 5% or more every 10 weeks and the index falls 10% every 33 weeks, according to data analyzed by AllianceBernstein going back to 1928. Advanced Micro Devices gave up 50 cents, or 3.9 percent, to $12.33. MetLife fell 75 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $47.56, while Charles Schwab slid 69 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $41.33.

Macy's Inc. tumbled 10.2 percent after the company said its sales continued to decline in the second quarter.

2 biotech stocks that rallied after earnings. Dillard's slumped 17.8 percent after the chain booked a loss for the second quarter as increased inventory led to big discounts. Its shares slid $11.64, to $61.70.

The bond market was without direction: the yield of u.s. Treasury bills to 10 years, which evolves to the inverse of the bond price, appears to 2,190 %, compared to 2,198 % Thursday evening, and that bills to 30 years at 2,786 %, compared to 2,773 %.

OIL: Crude oil gave up early gains.

On the currency front, the USA dollar is trading at 108.82 yen compared to the 109.20 yen it fetched at the close of NY trading on Thursday. It added 39 cents to $49.56 a barrel on Wednesday.

Other markets: Oil turned lower after the International Energy Agency said oil supply rose for a third month as compliance with an OPEC output deal faltered but prices have rebounded (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-head-lower-as-global-tensions-continue-unabated-2017-08-11) to edge up. Germany's DAX Index fell 0.6%, the UK's FTSE 100 Index retreated 1.2% and France's CAC 40 Index slid 1.4%.

An hour after trading opened this morning, the S&P/NZX50 index was down 79.2 points, or 1 per cent, to 7,710.51. Copper fell 2 cents to $2.90 a pound.

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