Stocks slide on continued concern over tension between U.S. and North Korea

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More than 430 stocks from all U.S. exchanges hit their lowest levels in 52 weeks or more on Thursday, the most for any session since mid-November right after Trump was elected.

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

In the first four days of the week, the Standard & Poor's 500 index swung from marking its latest record high to posting its biggest single-day drop in almost three months. Instead, it provided an excuse for a selloff many investors consider overdue. "If the market really believed that the reaction of north korea was imminent, I think it would drop much more" nuanced Alan Skrainka. The Dow Jones industrials average gained 14.31 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,858.32.

The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 34.61 points, or 0.56 percent, at 6,251.48. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 1.69 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,374.23.

Semiconductor, computer hardware, oil service, and retail stocks also saw considerable weakness, moving lower along with most of the other major sectors. It has been the leading S&P gainer so far this year, making it particularly vulnerable to a decline.

Ten of the S&P 500's 11 major sectors closed negative on August 10, 2017.

"If you strip away what's going on in North Korea, and if you strip away what's going on in Washington, which are things that are tougher to predict, the economy, the global recovery, earnings, it all paints a very positive picture for the rest of the year", Kravetz said.

Korea's Samsung Electronics fell 2.8% Friday. Indeed, US equities sold off at the open and added to those losses this afternoon following President Trump's latest warning to North Korea.

"Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely".

Still, there were fewer signs of anxiousness in the markets Friday. It's still the highest it's been since May.

The selling in the US extended to global markets Friday.

Excluding food and energy prices, core consumer prices still crept up by 0.1% in July, matching the increases seen in the three previous months.

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The data comes amid tepid inflation that has remained below the Fed's 2 percent target, despite low unemployment.

"The data confirms the Fed will have a wait-and-see attitude", said King Lip, chief investment officer at Baker Avenue Asset Management in San Francisco.

Technology companies, which suffered the brunt of the selling a day earlier, were back in the lead Friday. Seagate shares rose 74 cents to $32.29.

On Friday, fellow retailer J.C. Penney dropped 16% after its second-quarter loss exceeded expectations.

Publishing company News Corp (NWSA) reported fiscal fourth quarter earnings that beat estimates, although its revenues fell short. The stock lost 78 cents to $3.93.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 7/32 in price to yield 2.1888 percent, from 2.211 percent late on Thursday.

On the currency front, the USA dollar is trading at 108.82 yen compared to the 109.20 yen it fetched at the close of NY trading on Thursday. On the Nasdaq, 1,462 issues rose and 1,227 fell. Natural gas was also flat at $2.98 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Mining heavyweights BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto retreated 2-3%, while gold miners Evolution and Newcrest rose about 2% each.

The dollar slipped to 109.04 yen from 109.26 late Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at USD1.826 compared to yesterday's USD1.1772.

Major indexes in Europe closed mostly lower.

While the German DAX Index has edged down by 0.1%, the French CAC 40 Index and the UK's FTSE 100 Index are both down by 1%. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 1.37 percent lower. South Korea's Kospi lost 1.7 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 2 percent. The fact that ended with a 1%-plus drop, however, might be good news.

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