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12 August 2017, 06:17 | Terri Saunders
The S&P 500 dropped 1.4% to 2438.21, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 204.69 points, or 0.9%, to 21,844.01.
The market slide accelerated slightly in the last half-hour of trading as President Donald Trump denounced North Korea's nuclear program.
It also outlined detailed plans for a missile strike near Guam, which is more than 3,000 km (2,000 miles) to the southeast of North Korea and home to about 163,000 people, a U.S. Navy base that includes a submarine squadron and an air base. The U.S. Treasury Note yield hit its lowest level since June 28 and gold futures surged more than 1 percent. The Nasdaq composite fell 35 points, or 0.5 percent, to 6,336.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 39.02 points to 15,217.33 in a broad-based decline that saw many sectors finish in the red while bullion stocks surged almost 1.9 per cent.
Ten out of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors ended lower after the comments with the only gains seen in the utilities sector, which is seen as a bond proxy because of its slow but predictable growth and dividends.
The north Korean crisis comes to Wall Street
By the London close, the precious metal had given up some of those gains to trade up 0.88% on the day at $1,273. Pyongyang said it was examining plans for attacking Guam, a USA territory in the Pacific with a military base.
North Korea talk drags stocks lower; gold, yen rise
The Nasdaq Composite dropped 40.64 points, or 0.64 percent, to 6,311.70. "We have not had a 5 percent correction since June 2016". The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 are rebounding after ending Thursday's trading at their lowest closing levels in a month.
Dow e-minis were up 6 points, or 0.03 percent, with 29,187 contracts changing hands at 8:34 a.m. ET (1234 GMT).
The slump comes after more than £27 billion was wiped off the value of blue-chip stocks on Thursday, sending the FTSE 100 to its biggest daily fall since April 18 this year. In a tense situation like this, equity markets can move lower exceptionally fast, and investors don't want to be caught on the wrong side of the markets, so they are getting out now'.
Beyond geopolitical concerns, investors continued to size up company earnings reports. The Nasdaq composite fell 45 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6,324. Companies in the S&P 500 are set to report stronger second-quarter earnings than analysts expected, according to FactSet, lifted by oil-and-gas companies benefiting from stabilizing oil prices and multinational firms profiting from a weaker dollar.
"Although we certainly can get a 5 to 7 percent correction, we don't think it's the start of a significant bear market", Peterson noted. The umbrella financials group slipped 0.3 percent.
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 24 cents to $48.37 per barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, declined 20 cents to $51.70 per barrel in London. Core prices had been expected to rise by 0.2%.
Markets slide, dollar slumps as North Korea fears spike
The 30-year bond US30YT=RR last rose 5/32 in price to yield 2.8107 percent, from 2.818 percent late on Wednesday. The Japanese yen hit an eight-week high against the USA dollar, while spot gold also reached a two-month high.
First photo of a total solar eclipse was snapped in 1851
Solar filters that are safe produce a view of the sun that is comfortably bright, in focus and surrounded by black sky. At the event, as they have been doing for weeks, the Library will also be distributing free solar eclipse glasses.