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Wall Street tumbles on North Korea worries

14 August 2017

Small-company stocks fell more than the rest of the market.

The S&P 500 index was on track for its first daily drop of more than 1 percent in nearly three months on Thursday as investors grew cautious over escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea.

The expanded index S&P 500 rose 0.1 % to 2441,32 points. While the Nasdaq climbed 39.68 points or 0.6% to 6,256.56, the Dow inched up 14.31 points or 0.1% to 21,858.32 and the S&P 500 edged up 3.11 points or 0.1% to 2,441.32. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares declined 0.6 percent.

Biotechnology stocks are turning in some of the market's worst performances in morning trading, resulting in a 1.6 percent drop by the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index.

European stocks also fell sharply Friday, leaving the Stoxx Europe 600 with its worst weekly decline since November, just before the US presidential election was held. Titled "Reckless game over the Korean Peninsula runs risk of real war", the editorial suggested China will stay neutral if North Korea strikes first, but will intervene if the the first mover.

The latest tensions began after US President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned North Korea that it would face "fire and fury" if it threatened the United States.

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"If earnings can stay strong and interest rates remain low investors can look beyond North Korea and continue to rally equities", Phipps said.

The 30-year bond was last up 4/32 in price to yield 2.7871 percent, from 2.794 percent late on Thursday. It's still the highest it's been since May.

Positive sentiment was also generated by a report from the Labor Department showing a modest uptick in consumer prices in the month of July. Wall Street was expecting more inflation.

UP WITH TECH: Investors bid up technology sector shares.

Health care stocks, which have been in a slump, posted gains. Core prices had been expected to rise by 0.2 percent.

Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) (RIO)(RIO) dropped 3.2%, Glencore PLC (GLEN.LN) lost 2.9%, Anglo American PLC (AAL.LN) fell 3.1%, and BHP Billiton PLC (BLT.LN) (BHP.AU) (BHP.AU) gave up 2%.

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Kohl's stock dropped almost six percent despite better than expected earnings. The company also said sales at its established stores declined for the fourth straight quarter. For its part, the canadian dollar traded at an average price of 78,83 US¢, up 16 cents compared to its average price of the previous day.

SLIDING: Traders sold-off utilities stocks.

United States crude rose 0.41 percent to $48.79 per barrel and Brent was last at $52.01, up 0.21 percent. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, was down 35 cents to $51.55 a barrel in London. On the Nasdaq, 1 685 issues fell and 615 advanced favoring decliners.

In the bond market, treasuries are extending the notable upward move seen in the previous session.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 7/32 in price to yield 2.1888 percent, from 2.211 percent late on Thursday. Major indexes in Asia closed lower.

The Nasdaq composite lost 18.13 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,352.33. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was off 0.3 percent.

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For the week, the Dow is down 1.1%, its biggest one-week drop since November.