Economia

Wall St reels under N. Korea tensions, tepid retail earnings

Wall St reels under N. Korea tensions, tepid retail earnings

"European shares are trading once again lower. continuing their slide on the back of ever more increasing tensions between North Korea and the USA", added analyst Markus Huber at City of London Markets.

His comments came in response to North Korea's threat to fire ballistic missiles toward the USA territory of Guam, which is home to US bombers and other strategic assets.

Concern over simmering geopolitical tensions sent Europe's stock markets down for a third day after President Trump stepped up his war of words with North Korea but by late afternoon opportunistic buyers had begun to return on Wall Street.

"Since these are the stocks that have been in the spotlight the most, they tend to have the most volatility upwards and downwards", said Chris Bertelsen, chief investment officer of Aviance Capital Management in Sarasota, Florida. The S&P has lost more than 1 percent on only three days this year.

"Absent actual military action, I think the markets will realize that the rhetoric got head of the actual policy and it is time to calm down a little bit", McMillan said.

Gold, another classic safe haven asset, was trading at around $1,291 per ounce, up more than two percent this week and near a nine-week high.

Most large-cap stocks fell across the board.

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

The Nasdaq Composite was up 19.35 points, or 0.31%, at 6 236.22.

The decline was broad, with all the 11 major S&P indexes lower.

Macy's dropped 4.2 percent as it reported second-quarter revenues fell 5.4 percent to $5.6 billion, another sign of the travails facing department stores. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index plunged by 2 percent, while South Korea's Kospi Index slumped by 1.7 percent.

In other news, USA wholesale inflation dropped in July, the first contraction in almost a year and another data point that could weaken the case for the Federal Reserve to raise the benchmark interest rate again later this year.

Blue Apron shares hit a record low at US$5.03 after the meal-kit delivery service provider reported a bigger-than-expected loss in its first quarterly report as a public company.

However, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley suggested on Thursday that the central bank was on track to raise interest rates once more as he expects sluggish inflation to rise over the next several months.

Perrigo surged 17.6 percent after the drugmaker raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast. On the Nasdaq, 2,082 issues fell and 669 advanced.