Stocks veer higher into record territory; oil heads lower

Stocks open lower, slip from record highs as Wall Street awaits Disney earnings
Fear of North Korea attack sends Wall Street spiraling

10 August, 2017

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was down 82.37 points, or 0.37 percent, to 22,002.97, the S&P 500 .SPX had lost 8.34 points, or 0.34 percent, to 2,466.58 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC had dropped 38.99 points, or 0.61 percent, to 6,331.47.

After a dip of as much as 0.52 percent earlier in the day, Wall Street's three major indexes bounced off intraday lows. The news may drive investors into the safety of U.S. Treasury Notes and Bonds, which will drive down yields. They hit 2.212 percent earlier, the lowest level since June 28 and almost 7 basis points lower than Tuesday's close, Reuters data showed.

The tough talk came amid reports that North Korea had developed technology to miniaturize a nuclear warhead that could be placed in a intercontinental ballistic missile. Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman and the Dow Jones U.S. defense index .DJUSDN was up 1.48 percent after hitting a record high.

"As a result all major U.S. markets closed lower for the first time in over two weeks, and this weakness unsurprisingly has spilled over into Asia markets as well, as geopolitical tensions prompt some nervousness, particularly since North Korea's state media suggested that they examining the prospect of a missile strike near the USA base in Guam". More than 70 percent of S&P 500 companies that had reported posted better-than-expected earnings while 69 percent have beaten of sales, according to data from Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 2 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,416. The Dow slid 0.2 percent to 22,085.34. Japan's Nikkei 225 slipped 0.3 percent, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.5 percent. Energy stocks fell along with crude prices as investors kept an eye on the latest company earnings and geopolitical news.

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Nevertheless, traditional safe havens jumped, with the benchmark 10-year US note yield hitting its lowest level since June 28 and gold futures surging more than 1 percent. September-dated crude futures settled up 0.8%, or 39 cents, at $49.56 per barrel.

"Trump's response was aggressive and that's why the market turned lower", said Ken Polcari, Director of the NYSE floor division at O'Neil Securities. The euro slid to $1.1760 from $1.1793.

CURRENCIES: The U.S. dollar weakened to 110.35 yen from 110.72 yen late Monday.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index advanced 0.2%. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has fallen by 0.6 percent, the German DAX Index is down by 1.1 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is down by 1.5 percent.

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