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Global stocks shudder on Trump warnings to North Korea
13 August 2017, 06:27 | Hattie Nash
Image A trader works on the floor at the closing bell of the Dow Industrial Average
Wall Street stocks posted their biggest declines in almost three months Thursday as President Donald Trump doubled down on his warnings to North Korea over its nuclear program.
"Given the great run we've had, seems like some sort of pullback wouldn't be surprising", said Michael Baele, managing director of investments at U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite bore the brunt of the sell-off, losing 135.46 points, or 2.1 percent, to 6,216.87.
The CBOE Volatility Index, a barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, closed at its highest since the election.
The S&P 500 volatility index jumped again on the latest jawboning in the US-North Korea standoff.
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Investors, who took the North Korea report from Japan in their stride earlier in the day, lost their appetite for risk after Trump's comments to reporters during his vacation at his golf club in New Jersey. The S&P has lost more than 1 percent on only three days this year. Large retailers Macy's and Kohl's tumbled on Thursday after they reported disappointing second-quarter results.
Macy's (M.N) shares closed down 10.2 percent and Kohl's (KSS.N) fell nearly 6 percent as the companies continued to report a drop in quarterly same-store sales, stoking concerns that their turnarounds may still be a long way off. Dillard's slumped 15.5 percent after the chain booked a loss for the second quarter as increased inventory led to big discounts. Shares of Macy's lost 10% and Kohl's fell 5.8%.
Blue Apron shares hit a record low at $5.03 after the meal-kit delivery service provider reported a bigger-than-expected loss in its first quarterly report as a public company.
The Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 78.67 cents USA, down 0.04 of a US cent.
In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index fell 1%. It added 39 cents to $49.56 a barrel overnight.
The S&P hasn't moved more than 0.5 per cent in one day since July and has fallen more than 1 per cent only twice this year.
Federal funds futures suggested the chance of rate hike in December fell to 40 percent from 42 percent shortly before the release of the data.
The bond market was without direction: the yield of u.s. Treasury bills to 10 years, which evolves to the inverse of the bond price, appears to 2,190 %, compared to 2,198 % Thursday evening, and that bills to 30 years at 2,786 %, compared to 2,773 %. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, slid 52 cents, or 1 percent, to $52.18.
Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with the technology's 0.36 percent rise leading the advancers.
"It is a market that is beginning to encounter some major threats and of course the threat is geopolitical", said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial. The euro rose to $1.1753 from $1.1752. Altice USA, the subsidiary of the French company, added 0.1 percent.
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Equities fall on rising tension between US & North Korea
It's been a similar story across most Asian markets, with stock falls of at least 1% a common feature of today's session. European stock markets fell further in opening trade on Friday on intensifying fears over North Korea, dealers said.