Wall St set to open flat after inflation data, N.Korea tensions

Wall St set to open flat after inflation data, N.Korea tensions

If tensions with North Korea de-escalate and the US economy remains on track, it's easy to see how stocks could quickly climb to new heights. The Dow rose slightly on Friday after shedding 205 points the day before, its worst slide in almost three months.

At 10:34 a.m. ET (1434 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index fell 70.95 points, or 0.47 percent, to 15,146.38.

The euro dipped 0.1 per cent to US$1.1737 (RM5.03) but the single European currency has been slipping this week against the dollar, having hit a more than 2 ½-year high of US$1.1892 on August 2.

Nervous investors drove shares lower earlier in the week, after President Trump declared Tuesday that the US would react with "fire and fury" to further nuclear provocations from North Korea.

Winners and Losers: Ralph Lauren Corp. and Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. reported earnings that beat investors' expectations, sending shares in both to soar 13 percent and 22 percent.

Fossil tumbled 25.1% after the watch maker said sales continued to weaken, falling short of analysts' estimates.

Stocks saw some strength during trading on Friday, regaining ground following the sell-off seen in the previous session.

The big winners? Gold, ultra-safe government bonds and defense contractors. With the drop, the index fell to its lowest closing level in a month. The consumer discretionary index was one of its biggest losers with a 0.47 percent drop. Only utilities sector stocks eked out a gain on a day of mostly listless trading as investors kept an eye on the latest company earnings and geopolitical news.

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Investors retreated from several of this year's top performers on Thursday, including shares of large US technology companies and biotechnology firms, while lifting shares of utilities companies - often thought of as bond proxies due to their relatively hefty dividends.

"Trump's response was aggressive and that's why the market turned lower", said Ken Polcari, Director of the NYSE floor division at O'Neil Securities.

Nonetheless, traders seemed reluctant to make more significant moves ahead of the release of reports on labor productivity and costs and producer and consumer price inflation in the coming days.

The weakness among oil service stocks came amid a modest decrease by the price of crude oil, with crude for September delivery slipping $0.22 to $49.17 a barrel. However, the 4-week average figure dropped by 1,000 to 241,000. Netflix also fell, giving up $2.58, or 1.4 percent, to $175.78.

Copper traded at $2.912, down 0.25%, while natural gas tacked on 0.23% to $2.991. Silver gained 1 cent to $17.07 an ounce.

The dollar was down 0.77 percent against the yen JPY= at 109.21 yen. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.6 percent. The euro held steady at $1.1752.

The FTSE 100 is underperforming the DAX and CAC 40 because of several companies that are in the British index are paying dividends.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 finished 0.38% higher at 5,765.66, underpinned by the weighty financials subindex, which added 0.73%. Japan was closed on a public holiday.

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