Wall St higher but on track for deep weekly losses

Major earnings and North Korea worries set to claim the limelight on Wall Street

Major earnings and North Korea worries set to claim the limelight on Wall Street

The negative headlines provided many investors with an opportunity to pocket some of their recent gains following a string of record highs fueled by strong corporate earnings. The company also said sales at its established stores declined for the fourth-straight quarter.

Buying interest is somewhat subdued, however, as the ever-escalating war of words between President Donald Trump and North Korea continues to raise geopolitical concerns.

Trump warned North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un that he faced "fire and fury" over his weapons and ballistic missile programs.

"It's fantastic when you consider the headlines just how calm the equity markets are, how they've taken things in their stride", said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The North is responding to Trump's threat in a statement from its military carried by state-run news agency KCNA.

The president continued tweeting on Friday, saying that military solutions to the crisis are "locked and loaded".

On the US economic front, a report released by the Labor Department showed a modest uptick in consumer prices in the U.S.in the month of July. The consumer discretionary index was one of its biggest losers with a 0.47 percent drop. Both the core and headline rates are expected to have risen by 0.2 percent during July. The Dow shed 0.2 percent. On the Nasdaq, 2,303 issues fell and 567 advanced.

The major averages ended the session just off their worst levels of the day.

At 10:34 a.m. ET (1434 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index fell 70.95 points, or 0.47 percent, to 15,146.38.

World stock markets slid Wednesday as worries about US-North Korea tensions sent traders fleeing to safe-haven investments. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index plunged by 2%, while South Korea's Kospi Index slumped by 1.7%. Japan was closed on a public holiday.

In bond markets, the yield on U.S. Treasuries fell, also pressured by the lowered expectations for a Fed move.

The influential financial stocks were among the biggest drags on the index, with Royal Bank of Canada down 1.5 percent to C$92.88, and Manulife Financial Corp falling 4.7 per cent to C$24.43, its largest drop since early August past year.

Disappointing economic data releases weighed on both sides of the Atlantic today with a negative goods trade balance for the United Kingdom (-0.1% versus expectations of 1.4%), higher unemployment claims from the USA (244,000) and also a negative month-on-month PPI figure for the U.S. (-0.1%). United States bond prices also rose while gold closed at its highest for the week up 1.52% to $1281.

The dollar was further weighed down on Friday by the soft US inflation data.

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