12 August, 2017
Global markets have been on edge since Tuesday, when President Donald Trump warned North Korea of severe retribution should the authoritarian state proceed with any more missile tests or threats. Bond and gold prices, traditional havens for nervous investors, were little changed, and the VIX, a measure of how much volatility investors expect in stocks, fell 3.3 percent following a 44.4 percent jump the day before.
However, an Associated Press report that the US and North Korea have been engaged in back channel talks (https://apnews.com/686ac7c761694b28b67793a1d8297145?link=mktw) for several months even as they exchange incendiary threats helped to soothe some of the jitters.
Asia-focused financial stocks, namely Prudential and Standard Chartered were among the main fallers.
Macy's shares closed down 10.2 percent and Kohl's fell nearly 6 percent as the companies continued to report a drop in quarterly same-store sales, stoking concerns that their turnarounds may still be a long way off.
Shares of Kohl's Corporation surged 7% in premarket trading Thursday before giving up those gains, after the retailer reported earnings that beat Wall Street estimates.
Shares of Walt Disney were down 4.23 percent, the biggest drag on Dow, as investors doubted whether the company can succeed with its plan to launch its own streaming services rather than rely on Netflix to reach online viewers.
Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with the technology's .SPLRCT 0.36 percent rise leading the advancers.
Benchmark U.S. crude rose 23 cents to settle at $48.82 a barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline dipped 1 cent to $1.62 a gallon.
To that end, gold prices shot up to near $1,300 an ounce - their highest level in several months. On the Nasdaq, 1,462 issues rose and 1,227 fell.
USA crude oil futures settled almost 2 percent lower at $48.59 a barrel, as Russian Federation considered a future output resumption and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries boosted its July production numbers.
The Canadian dollar was trading at 78.64 cents United States, down from an average price of 78.71 cents U.S. on Wednesday.
Meantime, on the commodity front oil prices fell 2 per cent while gold has maintained its two month high.
The FTSE 100 has fallen by more than 100 points in today's trading so far, as investors continue to act on North Korea-related jitters.
The overall financials group, which accounts for roughly a third of the index slipped 0.9 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index plunged by 2%, while South Korea's Kospi Index slumped by 1.7%.