USA stocks extend fall on North Korea tensions, S&P down 1pct

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 5.99 points

The single currency slipped 0.3 percent to $1.1723 and was holding just above a July 28 low of $1.1688.

Geopolitical tension gained momentum on Thursday, after a North Korean army commander said, "sound dialogue" isn't possible with President Donald Trump and "only absolute force can work on him", according to state media.

The move came after North Korea said that it was examining a plan to attack the U.S. island of Guam in the Pacific, prompting the markets' move out of riskier assets such as equities.

Mr. Trump's remarks on Tuesday that North Korea would face "fire and fury like the world has never seen" pushed Wall Street lower on Tuesday and drove up the VIX "fear gauge" of expected volatility on the S&P 500 higher.

"What will markets take a cue from in that information gap?" At the same time, North Korea dismissed threats by President Trump as a lot of "nonsense".

Gold futures surged Wednesday, logging their best one-day gain since May, as the US and North Korea exchanged threats.

Simmering tensions with North Korea were also weighing on the market in early trading Thursday.

Shares in Netflix were down 4% in premarket trading.

"People want to digest the move and a downtrend now totally makes sense", Saluzzi said.

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The Dow Jones industrial average lost 71 points, or 0.3 percent, to 22,013. Brent crude advanced 0.06 percent to trade at $52.73 a barrel and US crude rose 0.08 percent to trade at $49.60.

The remarks followed a new report asserting that USA intelligence has assessed that Pyongyang has successfully produced a nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles. Copper rose four cents to 2.94 a pound.

Benchmark 10-year notes were last up 12/32 in price to yield 2.201 percent, from 2.242 percent late on Wednesday. Shares of Kohl's (KSS) tumbled by 6.7% after an earnings beat (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/kohls-stock-jumps-premarket-after-earnings-beat-2017-08-10). Its net profit came in at A$445 million ($351.8 million), under the A$523 million reported previous year.

SeaWorld Entertainment slid 6.2% after the theme park operator reported second-quarter revenue that fell short of Wall Street's expectations.

Snapchat parent Snap Inc.(SNAP), Nordstrom Inc.(JWN), News Corp.(NWS.AU) and Nvidia Corp.(NVDA) will report after the close.

Markets have tended to shrug off North Korea's sabre-rattling in the past, dismissing it as bluster, but the latest tensions have added to jitters.

The Topix index of all first-section issues edged down 0.04 percent, or 0.65 points, to 1,617.25 for a weekly loss of 0.87 percent.

Internet, computer hardware, retail, and financial stocks are also seeing considerable weakness, moving lower along with most of the other major sectors.

"The markets are looking for direction after Wednesday's sharp moves and geopolitical concerns will dominate investor mindsets in the coming days", said Esther Maria Reichelt, an FX strategist at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

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