Dow slips 100 points as tensions with N.Korea escalate

US stocks close slightly lower, trimming earlier losses

US stocks close slightly lower, trimming earlier losses

ANALYST'S TAKE: "The tensions between North Korea and the U.S.is an excuse for profit-taking", Seo Sang Young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities. The S&P 500 closed 0.24% lower at 2,474.92, with materials leading decliners. Only utilities sector stocks eked out a gain on a day of mostly listless trading as investors kept an eye on the latest company earnings and geopolitical news.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 5.99 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,474.92.

U.S. President Donald Trump warned North Korea on Thursday not to strike Guam or U.S. allies, saying his earlier threat to unleash "fire and fury" on Pyongyang if it launched an attack may not have been tough enough. Dillard's, however, posted much weaker-than-expected results, sending the stock down 15 percent.

Selling was broad. Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE 6-to-1; on Nasdaq, a 3.60-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.

The Canadian dollar was trading at 78.64 cents U.S., down from an average price of 78.71 cents USA on Wednesday. Netflix was down 1.8 per cent.

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"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. The index has fallen to its lowest intraday level in nearly a month.

By 4.10pm, the fall was hovering between 99 and 100 points - around 1.34% - down.

"I think the market was looking for a reason to come off here", said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds. Its rouble-based peer MICEX shed 1.2 percent to 1,937 points, its lowest since August 1.

The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand edged down by 0.1 percent in July after inching up by 0.1 percent in June.

Wall Street also turned its eyes to retail earnings, as Macy's and Kohl's both reported better-than-expected quarterly results. European stocks were facing the worst week in nine months (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-face-worst-week-in-9-months-on-us-north-korea-tensions-2017-08-11) on U.S. Rival Advanced Micro Devices was also down 2.6 percent.

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OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 36 cents to $48.23 per barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline was little changed at $1.62 a gallon, heating oil rose 2 cents to $1.65 a gallon and natural gas rose 6 cents to $2.88 per 1,000 cubic feet.

The dollar fell to 109.85 yen from 110.48 yen late Tuesday. The euro rose to $1.1774 from $1.1752.

With Japanese markets closed for a public holiday, Hong Kong led the downward charge in Asia-Pacific as the Hang Seng lost more than two percent.

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