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Tech companies lead a broad slide in U.S. stocks; oil slumps

13 August 2017, 07:11 | Hattie Nash

Tech companies lead a broad slide in U.S. stocks; oil slumps

Euro banknotes of several values lie on a table in a Swiss bank in Bern

US stocks rose Friday but still notched their biggest weekly loss in months, as investors were shaken by disappointing earnings results and an escalation of threats between the USA and North Korea. Banks and retail chains were also among the big decliners. A weakness in the consumer discretionary, financials, and information technology sectors weighed on the market. Gold and bond prices were headed higher. Nvidia fell $4.73, or 2.7 percent, to $167.38. The indexes fell lower for the week with the Dow Jones Industrial Average -1.06%, the Nasdaq Composite down -1.50% and the S&P 500 fell -1.43%. The Dow slumped 204.69 points or 0.9 percent to 21,844.01, the Nasdaq plummeted 135.46 points or 2.1 percent to 6,216.87 and the S&P 500 tumbled 35.81 points or 1.5 percent to 2,438.21.

Wall Street stocks dropped early Thursday after North Korea announced a plan to send missiles towards Guam, raising the stakes of a nuclear standoff with the United States.

Technology companies led a broad slide in USA stocks late Thursday afternoon, putting the market on track for its biggest loss in two months.

THE QUOTE: While the tough talk about the potential for nuclear war is scary, investors have heard it many times before. "Such investor hopes are also reflected in USA equity prices", said Komal Sri-Kumar, president of Sri-Kumar Global Strategies.

European markets open lower on Friday
The single-session equity put/call ratio jumped to 0.83 - the highest since April - and the 21-day moving average rose to 0.65. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, popped almost 11 percent to 11.02.

"What has changed this time is that the scary threats and war of words between the United States and North Korea have intensified to the point that markets can't ignore it", said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at AMP Capital in Sydney, as quoted by Reuters. "I have a feeling that by the end of the week, we'll feel this was just another blip on the radar".

Avis Budget Group Inc. slumped 9.9 percent after the vehicle rental company cut its guidance following a weak second quarter. Macy's was down 10.2 percent after the company said its sales continued to decline in the second quarter.

The Dow slid as declines in Apple and Goldman Sachs, down 2.3% and 1.7% respectively, outweighed gains in McDonald's and Coca-Cola, up 1.4% and 0.5% respectively.

On average, the S&P 500 falls 5% or more every 10 weeks and the index falls 10% every 33 weeks, according to data analyzed by AllianceBernstein going back to 1928. The trend appeared to overshadow strong quarterly revenue growth in the quarter. Amazon shares finished down 2.6%. The company booked a hefty charge and said its CFO is leaving the company. The stock fell $3.30 to $30.09.

North Korean "saber-rattling" sees gold hit two-month high
The index's losses mirrored global markets, which fell after incendiary words between the United States and North Korea. Amid the hot rhetoric, USA stocks sold off sharply on Thursday, with the S&P 500 falling more than 1 percent.

Gold fell $2.10 to $1,262.60 an ounce.

In Europe, Germany's DAX rose 0.3 percent, while France's CAC 40 added 0.2 percent.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 inched down less than 0.1 per cent to finish at 19,729.74. The Producer Price Index (or PPI) fell 0.10%, while the market had forecast a rise of 0.10%. Britain's FTSE 100 sank 1.4 percent. Silver also rose, gaining 43 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $16.82 an ounce.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 22 cents to $49.17 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, slid 52 cents, or 1 percent, to $52.18.

Action again North Korea's ballistic missiles a hard call for US
On Friday, the South's benchmark Kospi index plummeted 39.76 points, or 1.69 percent, to its lowest level since May 24. Their location in a USA territory means its military is just hours from potential flashpoints in the western Pacific.

CURRENCIES: The euro slipped 0.1 percent to $1.1176 while the dollar was steady at 109.20 yen.



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