Wall St opens lower as tensions with N.Korea escalate

Wall St opens lower as tensions with N.Korea escalate

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 33 points, or 0.15%, at 22,085, snapping a 9-day streak of closing records.

USA stock index futures pointed to a slightly lower open on Wednesday, as investors focus on rising geopolitical tensions between the US and North Korea, and get ready to pore over another slew of corporate earnings.

North Korea said it was considering a missile strike on the US military base in Guam, as US President Donald Trump threatened Pyongyang with "fire and fury". The S&P 500, a broader gauge of U.S. companies, fell 0.24 percent to 2,474.92.

The back-and-forth came on the heels of reports the USA intelligence community has determined North Korea has successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles.

Second-quarter earnings have been stronger than expected with analysts now expecting S&P 500 earnings to have expanded 11.8 percent, up from 8 percent at the start of July, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Earlier in the day, the Dow had climbed to a record intraday high of 22,179.11.

Following two relatively quiet days on the USA economic front, trading on Wednesday may be impacted by a report on labor productivity and costs in the second quarter.

Stocks have moved mostly lower in morning trading on Wednesday, adding to the modest losses posted in the previous session. The Nasdaq composite climbed 30 points, or 0.5 percent, to 6,414. Henry Schein lost 5.1 percent and Microsoft lost 0.6 percent.

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The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, rose almost 11 percent to break above 12.

Telecom, chemical, and brokerage stocks also saw notable weakness, while most of the other major sectors showed more modest moves.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.14-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.11-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Tuesday.

USA crude oil for September delivery fell 0.4% to $US49.17 a barrel, its third decline in four sessions. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index tumbled by 1.3 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell by 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets moved modestly higher over the course of the session. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has fallen by 0.6 percent, the German DAX Index is down by 1.1 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is down by 1.5 percent.

The yield on the 10-year US Treasury note rose to 2.282% from 2.258% on Monday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 4 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,476.

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