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13 August 2017, 07:13 | Hattie Nash
However, three days of losses have pulled markets sharply lower for the week.
"European shares are trading once again lower. continuing their slide on the back of ever more increasing tensions between North Korea and the United States", added analyst Markus Huber at City of London Markets.
The negative headlines provided many investors with an opportunity to pocket some of their recent gains following a string of record highs fueled by strong corporate earnings. Pyongyang said it was examining plans for attacking Guam, a USA territory in the Pacific with a military base. "That did temporarily shake investors' complacency, but we think markets are ready to move higher in the back half of the year, and earnings and economic data are going to drive that".
All the 11 major S&P indexed were lower, with technology sector's 0.62% leading the decliners. The index had its biggest drop since mid-May a day earlier.
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At 12:43 p.m. ET (1643 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 49.69 points, or 0.23 percent, at 21,893.7 and the S&P 500 was up 6.84 points, or 0.28 percent, at 2,445.05.
The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 34.61 points, or 0.56 percent, at 6,251.48. The stock fell $166 to $1,882.94.
The last time the S&P 500 fell over 1 percent was on May. 17.
There were fewer signs of anxiousness in the markets Friday. Shares of Manulife, which reported better-than-expected results, fell after the company played down talk of a John Hancock spin-off. It's still the highest it's been since May.
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The U.S. equity market is hovering near record levels and volume has been tepid following the onset of summer.
In other news, USA wholesale inflation dropped in July, the first contraction in almost a year and another data point that could weaken the case for the Federal Reserve to raise the benchmark interest rate again later this year.
THE QUOTE: "Inflation - or lack of -- has been an ongoing problem for the central bank and some policy makers have voiced concerns about this in recent months as they consider whether to raise interest rates again this year", said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA.
"U.S. -North Korean military tensions continued to dominate sentiment, pushing U.S. bond yields down and increasing the price of gold", analysts at VTB Capital said in a note.
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OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 24 cents to $48.37 per barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, used to price global oils, declined 20 cents to $51.70 per barrel in London.
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