Markets Right Now: Stocks drop, led by technology companies

But Michael said the overall market was still expected to saw-tooth its way higher due in part to a batch of better-than-expected earnings and low interest rates, despite the shift toward raising rates.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 30 points, or 1.2 percent, to 2,443 as of 3:25 p.m. The Dow slumped 204.69 points or 0.9% to 21,844.01, the Nasdaq plummeted 135.46 points or 2.1% to 6,216.87 and the S&P 500 tumbled 35.81 points or 1.5% to 2,438.21.

The Dow ended a nine-day streak of closing records, falling by 0.24%, while the Nasdaq fell by just under half a percent and the S&P was down by 0.21%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 13.20 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,396.95. It hit a 15-month low of 92.548 on August 2.

Tech has been the stalwart of the US stock market this year, rising more than 20 percent in the time period.

Most large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.

In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 78.71 cents United States, down 0.20 of a USA cent.

USA stock indexes looked set to open lower on Wednesday as investors shunned risky assets following escalating tensions between North Korea and the United States. Trump stepped up his campaign of pressure, warning the regime not to follow through with a missile test near Guam and promising massive response to any strike against America or its allies. But the moves were modest. We still believe that gold will break $1,300 in this particular rally coming up. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.21 percent from 2.25 percent late Wednesday.

While the tough talk about the potential for war is scary, investors have heard it many times before.

“It’s incredible when you consider the headlines just how calm the equity markets are, how they’ve taken things in their stride”, said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Too many past administrations have kicked the can down the road and we’ve finally come to the end of the road where North Korea has nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them”, he said.

Outside of geopolitical concerns, disappointing company earnings and outlooks put traders in a selling mood.

JAPAN MACHINERY DISAPPOINTS: Orders for machinery in June, considered a leading economic indicator, were slower than analysts had forecast and at their weakest since May 2016.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.77 percent, on track for its third straight day of declines as it pulled further back from all-time highs. The stock fell $2.35 to $20.68. Germany’s DAX fell 1.1 percent, while the CAC 40 in France lost 0.6 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 1 cent to $49.57 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, added 4 cents to $52.74.