US Stock Futures Pull Back On Rising North Korea Tensions

A street sign for Wall Street is seen outside the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan New York City

Technology companies were leading a broad slide in US stocks in early trading Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017, as investors pored over the latest batch of corporate earnings reports.

The Nasdaq Composite number was down 16.88 points, or 0.26 per cent, at 6,353.58.

Stocks are falling in midday trading on Wall Street, led by declines in technology companies and banks.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 5.99 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,474.92.

"We're through most of the earnings season and the valuations [in the stock market] become a bit problematic when you have something like North Korea come up, "says Maris Ogg, president at Tower Bridge Advisors". North Korea responded with threats to launch missiles into the Pacific Ocean near Guam, a US territory.

Stocks tumbled today after President Donald J. Trump said his "fire and fury" comment to North Korea "maybe wasn't tough enough".

Travel website operator Priceline fell 7.26 per cent, weighing the most on the S&P and the Nasdaq, following a disappointing forecast. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was off 0.3 percent.

Meanwhile, market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. backtracked 0.65 percent, and top automaker Hyundai Motor was down 0.34 percent.

On the currency markets, the pound was down to a three-week low against the USA dollar but mainly due to earlier disappointing output and trade data.

BBCI: Nepal floods: Elephants deployed in rescue efforts
At least thirty deaths were reported until Saturday night which, until Sunday afternoon, climbed to 49. "Another 17 are missing". Last weekend in the central lowlands, four girls from the same family drowned when they fell into a flooded roadside ditch.

US crude oil futures settled almost 2 per cent lower at $48.59 a barrel, as Russian Federation considered a future output resumption and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries boosted its July production numbers.

Analysts said media and entertainment stocks also seemed to get caught up in the broader market drop, but emphasized it was often hard to isolate reasons behind specific stocks' movements.

Valeant's stock, which rallied a day before following quarterly results, sank 9.6 percent to C$17.85 after it said its subsidiaries in Australia were the subject of a tax audit.

The dollar-denominated RTS index was down 1.5 percent at 1,013 points as of 0834 GMT, taking its year-to-date loss to 12 percent. Or are people using these geopolitical concerns as an excuse to take money out of the market -- tech stocks in particular?

The Nasdaq Composite, meanwhile, was facing its worst week since the one ended December 2, which logged a loss of just over 2%.

The U.S. equity market is hovering near record levels and volume has been tepid following the onset of summer.

In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline was little changed at $1.62 a gallon, heating oil rose 2 cents to $1.65 a gallon and natural gas rose 6 cents to $2.88 per 1,000 cubic feet. Copper rose 4 cents to $2.94 a pound. The euro held steady at $1.1752.

The Dow fell more than 200 points, a almost 1% drop, and its biggest dip in three months.

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