Wall St opens lower as N.Korea tensions escalate

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.

North Korea claimed “only absolute force” can work on someone as “bereft of reason” as Trump and detailed plans to fire a salvo of missiles into waters around the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

Stocks slide at the open as continuing tensions between the US and North Korea weigh on investor sentiment; Dow -0.5%, S&P -0.6%, Nasdaq -0.8%. Only 3 of the 30 stocks in the Dow finished the day with a gain: IBM, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s. The S&P is looking at a drop of 1.4%, its worst week since March.

Selling was broad. Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE 6-to-1; on Nasdaq, a 3.60-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

Blue Apron slumped as much as 19.1 percent to a record low after the meal-kit delivery service provider reported a bigger-than-expected loss in its first quarterly report as a public company. Both the Nasdaq and the Russell are set for their third straight weekly decline. But was retreating in recent trade. Other safe havens were the Swiss franc and gold.

He added that in China, the US and South Korea, stocks that are showing the biggest declines since the rise of tensions between the USA and North Korea are the companies that have risen most since June. Asian and European stocks continued the sharp decline Friday.

The December gold contract was up US$12.40 to US$1,285.40 an ounce.

Nvidia Corp.(NVDA) shares fell 5.5%, even after the chip maker posted upbeat earnings late Thursday. Apple is still up 35% for 2017 and hovers near a record high. In a note to investors, Paul Christopher, head global market strategist, and Tracie McMillion, head of global asset allocation, suggest, “the threat of a nuclear weapon is certainly more serious than previous threats, but that threat also may increase the probability of a diplomatic solution”.

But U.S. stocks regained some lost ground, despite Trump’s comments Friday that U.S. weapons are “locked and loaded“, ready to respond if North Korea acts “unwisely”.

Markets had earlier stabilised as U.S. secretary of state Rex Tillerson tried to ease the tensions, saying he did not believe there is “any imminent threat” to Guam and that diplomacy would prevail. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he did not believe there was an imminent threat.

Data showed USA 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.

Data showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, but the underlying trend remained consistent with a tightening labor market.

The precious metal is often used as a safe-haven investment in times of economic uncertainty.