Monday, 21 August, 2017

Wall St opens lower as N.Korea tensions escalate

By Kimberly Chin By Kimberly Chin
Nellie Chapman | 13 August, 2017, 14:33

The Dow lost more than 100 points on Thursday as investors fretted over escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell less than a point to 2,474, making up much of the ground it lost earlier.

"We're through most of the earnings season and the valuations [in the stock market] become a bit problematic when you have something like North Korea come up, "says Maris Ogg, president at Tower Bridge Advisors". The index had its biggest drop since mid-May a day earlier.

The Nasdaq Composite was down 37.30 points, or 0.59%, at 6 315.03.

The recovery fit a recent pattern of investors using dips to put more money in stocks. Twenty-seven of 30 Index members contributed to the decline.

"If you strip away what's going on in North Korea, and if you strip away what's going on in Washington, which are things that are tougher to predict, the economy, the global recovery, earnings, it all paints a very positive picture for the rest of the year", Kravetz said. It is now on track for its biggest weekly drop since the week before the November 8 USA presidential election.

US equities steepened their losses late in the session after President Donald Trump said his earlier warnings to North Korea may not have been tough enough.

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.

Still, there were fewer signs of anxiousness in the markets Friday. It's still the highest it's been since May.

"This inflation data for the month was not good". On August 9, it rose 1.4% to 11.11. Both are voting members this year on the Fed's rate-setting committee. But some economists say the Fed may stand pat for the rest of 2017 unless inflation accelerates in coming months. Consumer-focused companies and technology stocks slumped.

German flavours and fragrance maker Symrise fell 3.6 percent, with analysts pointing to margins missing estimates. TMX Group Ltd was up 3.5 percent to C$68.23, while Quebecor Inc added 2.9 percent to C$44.60. The Russell 2000 index gave up 1.7 percent to 1,372.54. The company also said sales at its established stores declined for the fourth straight quarter. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 2.1 basis points at 2.220 percent.

The Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 78.67 cents United States, down 0.04 of a USA cent. Brent crude slid 80 cents USA, or 1.5%, to US$51.90. Silver gained 1 cent to $17.07 an ounce. The September copper contract was down two cents to US$2.91 a pound.

CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 109.05 yen from 109.20 while the euro weakened to $1.1763 from $1.1773.

The ex-dividend date, also known as the reinvestment date, involves the timing of payment of dividends on stocks of corporations, income trusts, and other financial holdings, both publicly and privately held.

Biotechnology stocks are turning in some of the market's worst performances in morning trading, resulting in a 1.6 percent drop by the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index.

Banks meanwhile suffered heavy losses, down 1.2 percent. Major indexes in Asia closed lower. Viacom slid 93 cents, or 3 percent, to $29.84. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.1 percent to 5,696.80.