Tech companies lead worst day for stock market since May

The Dow slumped 204.69 points or 0.9% to 21,844.01, the Nasdaq plummeted 135.46 points or 2.1% to 6,216.87 and the S&P 500 tumbled 35.81 points or 1.5% to 2,438.21.

The dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency against a basket of major peers, slipped 0.1 percent as U.S. Treasury yields fell.

Read:Few investors are excited about stocks.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 123 points, or 0.6 percent, to 21,923.

US stock indexes were set to open little changed on Friday, with the S&P 500 on track to post its biggest weekly loss in nine months, as investors remained cautious on heightened tensions between the United States and North Korea.

Trump's threats have escalated since reports broke at the beginning of the week that North Korea had successfully produced a nuclear warhead that could fit inside its missiles.

The Straits Times Index sank 1.31 per cent or 43.52 points to 3,279.72, down 1.4 per cent for the week.

Apart from geopolitical worries, some technical analysts like Tom McClellan, editor of the McClellan Market Report, blamed seasonality for this week's retreat given August's record as a weak month for stocks.

Until this week, the equity market had managed to shake off negative news, including previous saber-rattling over North Korea and failures in Washington to pass high-profile bills, such as repealing and replacing Obamacare.

Many Guam Residents Aren't Worried About North Korea
New United Nations sanctions condemning the North's rapidly developing nuclear program drew fresh ire and threats from Pyongyang. About 160,000 people live on the island, which extends about 12 miles (19.31 kilometers) at its widest.

Investors are increasingly nervous: The VIX volatility index, a closely-watched "fear gauge", is up 70% since Tuesday.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.23 percent.

Canada's main stock index turned slightly higher in early trade on Wednesday, as gains for gold miners and energy companies with higher commodity prices offset falls among financials.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 share index closed down 1.3 per cent at its lowest since June 1 as the strong yen hit exporters, while South Korea's KOSPI index fell 1.1 per cent to seven-week lows.

Nvidia Corp.(NVDA) shares fell 5.3%, even after the chip maker posted upbeat earnings late Thursday.

"The market has been looking for an excuse to sell off, and North Korea and the president gave the market that excuse", said David Schiegoleit, managing director at the U.S. Bank Private Client Wealth Management. The stock has more than doubled over the past 12 months, gaining more than 160%. Brent crude futures lost 0.8 percent to $51.5 per barrel on persistent oversupply worries despite a bigger-than-expected drawdown in USA crude inventories.

An editorial in China's state-run Global Times (, published late Thursday local time, added to the pressure on Asian markets.

"If the USA and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so", the editorial's authors said.

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