Simmering North Korea tensions knock back Wall Street

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

But while investors appeared to favor safe-haven assets, some bargain seekers helped Wall Street's three major indexes pare losses and some USA officials sought to dial back tensions. Yields on bonds move inversely to their price. On the Nasdaq, 2,303 issues fell and 567 advanced.

USA stocks have risen week after week this year - with the S&P up more than 9 percent - in extremely low volatility, as strong corporate earnings and an improving global economy offset disappointment that President Donald Trump's promises to lower corporate taxes and implement a massive infrastructure spending have so far failed to see the light of day.

"Year to date, the markets are sitting on huge unrealised gains, so investors are taking profit now", she added. The DJIA was poised for a fall of 1.1%, making for its worst week since a 1.5% drop in the one ended March 24.

Building materials company SIG followed close behind after reporting its first-half results the day before, putting in a solid performance that saw revenues head 8.6% higher for the period. "This may suggest much is in the price, and therefore risk appetite is taking its own summer holiday", he said in a note to clients. Eastern Time, alongside core CPI.

The Labor Department also said unit labour costs rose by 0.6% in the second quarter following an upwardly revised 5.4% spike in the first quarter.

Such an outcome would normally boost the USA dollar, Spivak said in a note.

Emerging market stocks lost 1.28 percent.

The index ended up 4.93 points at 16.04, the highest level since November 8, when Trump was elected president. Its shares slid $9.77, or 5.3 percent, to $174.02.

Macy's (M.N) shares closed down 10.2 percent and Kohl's (KSS.N) fell nearly 6 percent as the companies continued to report a drop in quarterly same-store sales, stoking concerns that their turnarounds may still be a long way off.

About 7.5 billion shares changed hands on USA exchanges, well above the 6.25 billion average for the last 20 days. Some say expectations for its server-chip business were just too high (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nvidia-stock-could-pause-as-server-growth-slows-down-2017-08-10).

On the currency markets, the pound slipped 0.1% against the dollar to $1.2968 but rose 0.1% against the euro to 1.1034 euros.

J.C. Penney Co.(JCP) is on tap to report quarterly earnings ahead of the market open.

"The slight bias to the upside (in stocks) is a result of the CPI number".

Investors on Thursday scampered to safe-haven assets such as gold and the Swiss franc, helping the precious metal hit a more two-month high.

But U.S. stocks regained some lost ground, despite Trump's comments Friday that U.S. weapons are "locked and loaded", ready to respond if North Korea acts "unwisely".

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