Wall St higher but on track for deep weekly losses

Xavier Trudeau
Августа 13, 2017

The Nasdaq Composite.IXIC was up 28.11 points, or 0.44 percent, at 6,411.88.

In bond markets, the yield on US Treasuries fell, also pressured by the lowered expectations for a Fed move.

"The market has been looking for an excuse to sell off, and North Korea and the president gave the market that excuse", said David Schiegoleit, managing director at the U.S. Bank Private Client Wealth Management.

Trump was responding to North Korea's claim it was completing plans to fire four intermediate-range missiles over Japan to land near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

Keeping up his tough talk, U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's government should "get their act together" or face the consequences, and suggested that his earlier threat to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea was too mild.

Wall Street's widely followed measure of market anxiety, the CBOE Volatility index, was up 0.79 points at 16.77 on Friday, its highest since November.

The Dow and the S&P clung to tiny gains on Tuesday after scaling new records as support from technology stocks offset weakness in the healthcare and materials sectors. Natural gas gained 2 cents to $2.82 per 1,000 cubic feet. Nvidia's shares shed more than 5% after the chip maker's revenue rose only 2% from the first quarter. Core prices had been expected to rise by 0.2%.

Manufacturing production in Jun was flat, as predicted, after falling 0.1% in May, while United Kingdom construction output badly missed forecasts fell 0.1% month on month and rose 0.9% year-on-year.

Macy's (M.N) shares closed down 10.2 percent and Kohl's (KSS.N) fell nearly 6 percent as the companies continued to report a drop in quarterly same-store sales, stoking concerns that their turnarounds may still be a long way off. Only 3 of the 30 stocks in the Dow finished the day with a gain: IBM, Coca-Cola and McDonald's. Each fell at least 1.4%.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude added 39 cents to settle at $49.56 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price global oils, added 59 cents to $53.29.

About 6.48 billion shares changed hands on USA exchanges on Wednesday compared with the 6.16 billion average for the last 20 sessions.

Sterling was also down 0.1% versus the euro at 1.104.

The technology sector (.SPLRCT) was the S&P's biggest drag with a 2.2 percent drop.

In Europe, Germany's DAX rose 0.3 percent, while France's CAC 40 added 0.2 percent.

Pension funds that holds billions of pounds worth of retirement savings are typically invested in the FTSE 100, meaning savers could see values fall amid sell-offs.

In Asia, markets were mostly lower after disappointing Chinese trade data.

"As a portfolio manager, you say, 'Do I think we'll get a war out of this?' " said Torsten Slok, chief global economist at Deutsche Bank, referring to the bluster between North Korea and President Donald Trump.

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