Stocks drop, led by technology companies

Cornelia Mascio
Agosto 13, 2017

Federal Hall's George Washington statue stands near the flag-covered pillars of the New York Stock Exchange.

Technology companies were leading a broad slide in USA stocks in early trading Thursday as investors pored over the latest batch of corporate earnings reports.

Escalating tensions over North Korea's nuclear ambitions rattled investors Thursday, pulling global stock benchmarks lower. Health care companies were among the gainers.

The stock market jitters came as North Korea outlined plans to launch missiles aimed at the waters off the coast of the US Pacific territory of Guam.

His comments follow on from reports that North Korea had successfully produced a nuclear warhead that could be fitted inside its missiles.

"That may have weighed a little bit" on markets, said Phil Guarco, global investment specialist J.P. Morgan Private Bank. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average added 39 points, or 0.2 percent, to 21,883. The S&P 500 and Dow were both coming off record highs.

The last time the S&P closed down more than 1 percent was May 17 when it fell 1.8 percent. Shanghai's main index also tumbled 1.6 percent to 3,208.54 while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.2 percent to 5,693.10.

BONDS: Bond prices rose.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.20 percent. The slide deepened after Trump's remarks on North Korea aired.

The latest sell-off was the most severe yet, amounting to the biggest single-day drop for the stock market in almost three months. The stock fell 85 cents to $12.76.

Michael Kors climbed 21.5 percent after the luxury handbag and apparel designer and retailer's latest quarterly results beat analysts' forecasts as sales improved.

Nvidia soared 55% this year after notching the biggest gains in the S&P 500 in 2016.

United States crude rose 0.41 per cent to US$48.79 per barrel and Brent was last at US$52.01, up 0.21 per cent.

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

Ongoing global glut concerns lingered in oil markets despite a bigger-than-expected draw in USA crude inventories, leaving prices volatile.

In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline dipped 1 cent to $1.62 a gallon. On the Nasdaq, 1,440 issues fell and 1,386 advanced. "You're less than 2 per cent off the high for the S&P heading into a weekend where uncertainty with North Korea still lingers". That's the index's lowest level in two months. Silver gained 14 cents to $16.39 an ounce.

About 6.48 billion shares changed hands on USA exchanges on Wednesday compared with the 6.16 billion average for the last 20 sessions.

Markets overseas were mixed Tuesday.

In the eurozone, the Paris CAC 40 lost 0.3 percent compared with the closing level on Wednesday.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 Index were Coca-Cola HBC up 219p to 2,592p, WorldPay up 19p to 407.5p, Randgold Resources up 95p to 7,475p, WPP up 19p to 1,581p. He said that North Korea "can be very very nervous" if it acts on either the USA or its allies, and warned that "things will happen to them like they never thought possible".

S&P 500 e-minis were down 4.5 points, or 0.18 percent, with 209,543 contracts traded.

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