Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Wall Street Stages Recovery, but North Korea Keeps Rally From Takeoff

Wall Street Stages Recovery, but North Korea Keeps Rally From Takeoff

Stock markets nosedived Thursday as investors continued moving into gold amid escalating political tensions between the United States and North Korea.

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 Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 5.99 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,474.92. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 40.64 points, or 0.64 percent, to 6,311.70.

North Korea said it was considering plans to fire missiles at Guam, a US -held Pacific island, after President Trump's warning on Tuesday.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index finished the day with a decline of 1 percent from the previous close.

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Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at AMP Capital in Sydney, said: "What has changed this time is that the scary threats and war of words between the USA and North Korea have intensified to the point that markets can't ignore it".

Nordstrom Inc.(JWN) shares rose 1.6% after the retailer late Thursday posted earnings that beat expectations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nordstrom-shares-rise-after-retailer-tops-views-sales-rise-2017-08-10), along with a sales rise. Apple was down 2.3 percent, weighing most on the index.

This week, the S&P 500 started on a stronger note by rising to new record high price levels.

After touching a more than two-month high at US$1,291.86, spot gold last added 0.2 per cent to US$1,288.81 an ounce.

"If the market truly believed the North Korea reaction was imminent, I think it would be down a lot more than it is", said Alan Skrainka, chief investment officer at Cornerstone Wealth Management.

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Nevsun Resources Ltd offset some of the material group's gains, plunging 16.4 percent to C$2.75 after the company reported disappointing quarterly results.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 24 cents to $48.37 per barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, used to price global oils, declined 20 cents to $51.70 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The U.S. dollar weakened to 110.35 yen from 110.72 yen.

The September crude contract was up 20 cents to US$49.76 per barrel and the September natural gas contract was up seven cents to US$2.95 per mmBTU. Rival Advanced Micro Devices was also down 2.6 percent.

US crude oil tumbled 2% to $48.59/bbl, failing to hold above $50 as a report from OPEC showed crude production among the group's members rose in July. But Michael said the overall market was still expected to saw-tooth its way higher due in part to a batch of better-than-expected earnings and low interest rates, despite the shift toward raising rates.

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

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