Stocks plunge over North Korea tensions

At 10:57 a.m. ET (1457 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 54.38 points, or 0.25 percent, at 21,898.39, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 8.69 points, or 0.35 percent, at 2,446.90.

A man watches a television screen showing U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Train Station on Thursday.

"European indices are following their Asian counterparts lower once more today, as the risk aversion seen over the past two days continues apace", said IG market analyst Joshua Mahony in a note.

Strong gains in NY, where the Dow saw repeated record highs up until three day ago, had kept investor optimism high when news of the conflict first broke, Currie said.

"It's been a bit of a roller coaster this week, with all the rhetoric between the U.S. and North Korea", said Jeff Kravetz, regional investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management. "I think a few investors are capitulating to it".

The Nasdaq Composite was up 38.25 points, or 0.62 percent, at 6,255.12.

After a dip of as much as 0.52 percent earlier in the day, Wall Street's three major indexes bounced off intraday lows.

Stock movers: Henkel fell 3.4% after the maker of Schwarzkopf hair care products, Right Guard deodorant and Persil detergent posted second-quarter organic sales growth of 2.2%, which was below consensus of 3.2%, according to Investec.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. backtracked 2.79 percent to 2,231,000 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. was down 4.66 percent to 61,400 won.

In Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 was down 1.1 percent to 7,306, while France's CAC 40 fell 1.1 percent to 5,058.

The last time the S&P 500 fell over 1 percent was on May. 17.

Data showed US producer prices unexpectedly fell in July, recording their biggest drop in almost a year, while another set showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week.

The U.S. equity market is hovering near record levels and volume has been tepid following the onset of summer.

Helping offset the geopolitical tensions was weaker-than-expected consumer price data for July, pointing to benign inflation that could make the Federal Reserve cautious about raising interest rates again this year.

The U.S. Treasury market rallied, with the benchmark 10-year yield shedding 3 bps to 2.21%.

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