Wall St rises on inflation data but on track for weekly losses

Aug 11 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were modestly higher in late morning trading on Friday as investors cautiously dipped back into riskier assets, after a three-day losing streak on concerns over escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea.

Trump said on Thursday that his first threat to unleash "fire and fury" may not have been tough enough.

"Since these are the stocks that have been in the spotlight the most, they tend to have the most volatility upwards and downwards", said Chris Bertelsen, chief investment officer of Aviance Capital Management in Sarasota, Florida.

At 9:38am ET (1338 GMT) the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 85.43 points, or 0.39%, at 21,963.27, and the S&P 500 was down 10.31 points, or 0.42% at 2,463.71.

The S&P 500 has hadn't a single day move of more than 0.5 percent since mid-July and has fallen more than 1 percent only twice this year. "I think a few investors are capitulating to it". The S&P 500 added 3.11 points, or 0.1%, to 2441.32, ending the week down 1.4%, its biggest loss since March.

The Vix, a measure of how much volatility investors expect in stocks, jumped 34.8 per cent, the biggest increase since May.

Gold hit a two-month high of US$1,278 an ounce amid the nervousness.

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.

European Union imposes tougher sanctions on N. Korea for missile tests
The UN Security Council tightened sanctions against North Korea for the missile tests carried out by the country on Saturday. Trump warned North Korea on Tuesday it will be met with "fire and fury" if it continues to threaten his country.

Retail results are also on investors' mind as the second-quarter earning season winds down.

Separately, US producer prices unexpectedly fell in July, recording their biggest drop in almost a year, weighed down by declining costs for services and energy products.

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.

The Russian dollar-traded index RTS was down 1.49 percent, and ruble-traded MICEX fell 1.29 percent by midday.

This caused some economists to speculate there may be no more interest rate rises this year.

Blue Apron shares hit a record low at US$5.03 after the meal-kit delivery service provider reported a bigger-than-expected loss in its first quarterly report as a public company.

Travel operator TUI flew slightly higher after reporting on a strong third quarter performance, with sales and profits taking off during the early summer months, although it left its full year targets unchanged.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,432 to 1,310. On the Nasdaq, 1,440 issues fell and 1,386 advanced.

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