"The North Korea situation appears to be the culprit".
However, any signs that the U.S.is preparing for an attack on North Korea and/or the actual launching of missiles by North Korea would likely lead to more significant selling pressure. The NASDAQ Composite Index fell 0.28% and closed the day at 6,352.33. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which had been steadily hitting records, posted its biggest decline since May on Thursday, while the CBOE Volatility Index, known as Wall Street's "fear gauge", rose to its highest level of the year.
Six of the S&P 500 sectors ended higher.
Investors are losing enthusiasm for Canada's banking stocks as a slowdown in the country's housing market dents banks' growth prospects, with insurance companies seen as a better bet to benefit from higher interest rates. US President Donald Trump said that North Korea would face "fire and fury" if it continued to threaten the States, however North Korea has dismissed these warnings by the USA incumbent as a "load of nonsense".
Mounting tensions lifted USA defense stocks.More news: East Harling murder: Man held over Peter Wrighton stabbing
"We would now be careful with a whiff of risk aversion in the air and, by extension, also stay away from shorts in the rates market", RBC's global macro strategist Peter Schaffrik said.
Overseas markets were also lower Wednesday.
The CBOE Volatility Index, a barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, closed at its highest since the USA presidential election on Thursday, but was down 1.22 points at 14.82 points on Friday.
He has now gone further, saying the warning may not have been tough enough and that if North Korea did what it had threatened, it faced "an event the likes of which nobody's seen before". On Thursday, fellow newly public company Blue Apron Holdings lost 18% after the meal-kit maker reported rising costs amid increased competition.
Avis Budget Group Inc. slumped 9.9 percent after the auto rental company cut its guidance following a weak second quarter.More news: Slaven Bilic: 'Manuel Lanzini happy at West Ham United'
The US Consumer Price Index (CPI) edged up 0.1% last month after staying flat in June and falling by 0.1% in May.
After the bell, Twenty-First Century Fox shares were up 0.7 percent following the release of its results.
Elsewhere, French conglomerate Vivendi saw its stock fall 2.1 percent in the morning hours, while Italy's Mediaset dropped only 0.3 percent.
The Canadian dollar was trading at 78.64 cents U.S., down from an average price of 78.71 cents United States on Wednesday.
Offsetting the declines was a 0.4 percent gain by the materials group, which includes gold producers.More news: Rubio defends Trump's promise of 'fire and fury'
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