US markets close weak amid US-North Korea tensions

US markets close weak amid US-North Korea tensions

With the upward move, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 rebounded after ending Thursday's trading at their lowest closing levels in a month. Shares of Macy's lost $2.36, or 10%, to $20.67, their lowest close since 2010.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 14 points, a gain of 0.07 percent, the Nasdaq composite rose almost 40 points or 0.64 percent and the S&P 500 gained 3 points or 0.13 percent. Over the next three months, the average gain has been good but not great - +1.15%. That's a much steeper drop than the ones experienced by the Dow and S&P 500.

A separate report from the Labor Department showed an unexpected uptick in initial jobless claims in the week ended August 5th. Similarly certain havens, such as USA government bonds, have risen.

The UK benchmark index looks set to open in the red this morning, pressured by geopolitical concerns related to North Korea.

The tensions, since Trump made his "fire and fury" comments on Tuesday, have wiped out almost $1 trillion from the global equity markets.

Trump continued to ramp up the rhetoric with a post on Twitter this morning indicating that the United States is prepared to take military action against North Korea.

Until this week, the equity market had managed to shake off negative news, including previous saber-rattling over North Korea and failures in Washington to pass high-profile bills, such as repealing and replacing Obamacare.

The statement said the plan, which involves the missiles hitting waters 19 to 25 miles from the island, could be sent to leader Kim Jong Un for approval within a week or so. The strong performance of these companies is clearly related to the North Korea drama. TMX Group Ltd was up 3.2 per cent to C$68.02, while Quebecor Inc added 4.3 per cent to C$45.20 and Canadian Tire Corp Ltd climbed 5.7 per cent to C$149.89. The index has fallen to its lowest intraday level in nearly a month.

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Data storage company Seagate Technology (STX) posted a standout gain within the hardware sector, jumping by 2.4%. The stock fell 85 cents to $12.76.

Markets overseas were mixed Tuesday.

With Japanese markets closed for a public holiday, Hong Kong led the downward charge in Asia-Pacific as the Hang Seng lost more than two percent. The Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.

The major European markets are also seeing continued weakness on the day.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 24 points, or 0.9 percent, to 2,450. Core prices had been expected to rise by 0.2 percent.

FIRE AND FURY: Keeping up his tough talk, Trump told reporters that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's government should "get their act together" or face extraordinary trouble, and suggested his earlier threat to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea was too mild.

The Federal Reserve is also scheduled to release the minutes of its latest monetary policy meeting, which may shed some light on the outlook for the interest rates.

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