How major USA stock market indexes fared Thursday

Trump's shifting views on stock market highs
Trump's shifting views on stock market highs
Author

12 August, 2017

The benchmark S&P 500 index tumbled more than 1 percent on Thursday, only the third time this year it has fallen that much, while the Nasdaq shed more than 2 percent.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gave up 24.40 points, or 1.7 percent, to 1,372.54. It also came amid heightened tensions between North Korea and the US.

The broad-based S&P 500 fell less than 0.1 per cent at the end at 2,474.02, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.3 per cent to 6,352.33. Wall Street's fear gauge-the CBOE Volatility Index or the VIX-jumped 44 percent to 16.04, the highest it has been since Trump was elected on November 8 a year ago.

"The sharemarket hates uncertainty, but the market has done so well that any little upset it's quite easy for investors to sell down", Williamson said.

"Of course it's all come at a time when share markets are due for a correction, so North Korea has provided a ideal trigger", he added.

The dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency against a basket of major peers, slipped 0.1 percent as U.S. Treasury yields fell.

"If the US and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so", the editorial's authors said.

Spot gold rose 0.3 percent to $1,264.50 per ounce at 0324 GMT, while US gold futures for December delivery rose 0.6 percent to $1,270.40 per ounce.

Netflix also fell, giving up $2.58, or 1.4 percent, to $175.78.

The dollar weakened after news that US producer prices unexpectedly fell in July, recording their biggest drop in almost a year and pointing to a further moderation in inflation that could delay a Federal Reserve interest rate increase. Natural gas jumped 10 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $2.99 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Charter Communications rose 2.9 percent on news Altice is exploring a bid for the cable giant.

Dudley also cautioned that "it's going to take some time" for inflation to rise to the central bank's 2 percent target even as he offered a generally positive outlook for the US economy, job market and price pressures. "This is a normal fluctuation, it just seems so odd because we have hardly had any volatility", said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at The Leuthold Group in Minneapolis.

THE QUOTE: "Risk-averse sentiment is dominating global equities markets, and USA indices have retraced from record levels over the last two days". Brent crude, used to price global oils, gained 56 cents to $52.70 in London. Kohl's said net income for the second quarter was $208 million, or $1.24 per share, versus $140 million, or 77 cents per share, in the same period a year ago. The euro rose to $1.1774 from $1.1752.

Flight to safety has helped lift the Japanese yen and gold prices, after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made an explicit threat on Wednesday to strike a USA military base in Guam.


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