The markets mulled a trio of concerns in mixed trading on Friday with the major indexes trading in a narrow range advancing to highs mid-morning before rolling back gains. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq both edged up +0.07% and +0.05% respectively at finish, while the Dow slipped -0.03% as healthcare weighed on the index. A somewhat muted performance was the result of a trio of concerns: an escalation of North Korea tensions; the latest roll back for GOP Senate health bill and anticipation of third quarter earnings seasons.
Financials down -0.01% and consumer staples down -0.23% led the declining sectors. Top performing sectors were telecoms up +1.37% and energy up +0.50%. Individual stocks Cisco Systems led the gainers on the big board up +2.05% and Verizon Communications was up +1.96%.
- Dow 22,349.59 -0.04%
- S&P 500 2,502.22 +0.06%
- Nasdaq 6,426.96 +0.07%
- Russell 2000 1,451.08 +0.48%
- NYSE Composite 12,154.82 +0.18%
- Gold 1,300 +0.41%
- Oil WTI $50.64 +0.18%
- 10-Year Treasury 2.25 -0.02%
Among the losers were UnitedHealth Group Inc which fell -1.14%, Apple continued its losing streak and fell -0.98%, Merck & Co. declined -0.72%.
In other news, investors make a break for so-called haven assets as North Korea and the US play tit-for-tat in threats and insults, with gold recovering up +0.41% to $1,300 per ounce. The dollar fell against the Japanese yen -0.4% to ¥112.06 and down slightly against the swiss franc at SFr0.9699. Treasury prices rose and the dollar index fell -0.03% to $92.16 in a shallow pull-back.
North Korea adds pressure: the latest threat from North Korea came via its foreign minister Ri Yong Ho who said in a counter-response to President Trump's speech to the UN on Tuesday to 'annihilate North Korea" that North Korea may consider an above-ground nuclear test over the Pacific Ocean.
According to the Wall St Journal his followed North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un's published statement on the Korean Central News Agency calling Trump a "gangster fond of playing with fire".
Kim said in his statement: “I am now thinking hard about what response he could have expected when he allowed such eccentric words to trip off his tongue."
“Whatever Trump might have expected, he will face results beyond his expectation.” Adding that he would “definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire.”