U.S. stocks fall again on North Korea tensions

At 9:38am ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 85.43 points or 0.39% at 21,963.27. The AFP

At 9:38am ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 85.43 points or 0.39% at 21,963.27. The AFP

In his latest warning to North Korea, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday military solutions were "fully in place" and referred to American weapons as being "locked and loaded" should the nuclear-armed nation act "unwisely".

The Dow industrials rose 14.31 points, or less than 0.1%, to 21858.32 on Friday.

Stock markets nosedived Thursday as investors continued moving into gold amid escalating political tensions between the United States and North Korea. North Korea has since threatened to launch missiles at the US territory of Guam, and the country previously threatened "all-out war, wiping out all the strongholds of enemies, including the USA mainland".

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. Major stock indexes across Europe and Asia also posted weekly declines.

Selling was broad. Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE 6-to-1; on Nasdaq, a 3.60-to-1 ratio favored decliners. Titled "Reckless game over the Korean Peninsula runs risk of real war", the editorial suggested China will stay neutral if North Korea strikes first, but will intervene if the U.S.is the first mover.

The broad-based S&P 500 was hit even harder, dropping 1.5 percent to close at 2,438.22, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 2.2 percent 6,216.87. Gold, meanwhile, a traditional safe haven for investors, gained $26.50 since Monday, closing Thursday at $1291.20 per ounce.

Data storage company Seagate Technology (STX) is posting a standout gain within the hardware sector, climbing by 2.1%.

"Although we certainly can get a five to seven percent correction, we don't think it's the start of a significant bear market".

Kohl's and Dillard's also reporting second quarter earnings on Thursday experienced a decline in same store sales. Dillard's slumped 15.5 percent after the chain booked a loss for the second quarter as increased inventory led to big discounts. Brent crude, used to price global oils, added 21 cents to $52.91.

The Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 78.67 cents US, down 0.04 of a USA cent. The euro fell to $1.1735 from $1.1752.

The Russian dollar-traded index RTS was down 1.49 percent, and ruble-traded MICEX fell 1.29 percent by midday.

Trucking and software stocks are also seeing notable strength in mid-day trading, while steel stocks have moved sharply lower on the day. While the German DAX Index closed just below the unchanged line, the UK's FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index both tumbled by 1.1%. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was down 1.13%.

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