At close US stocks' retreat was mild as Dow and S&P 500 barely changed. US officials attempt to calm US-North Korea tension appeared to sedate worried investors.
From the top:
- Dow settles after rising geopolitical tensions causes declines
- Defense and home improvement see gains
- Walt Disney and Goldman Sachs drag on the Dow
Earlier on Wednesday, US stocks were trading lower after President Trump's warning to North Korea to 'not make any more threats' is met by just that as North Korea ratcheted up tensions threatening missile strike action against US military installations near Guam.
The sabre rattling sent tremors throughout stock markets globally as investors responded to rising geopolitical tensions by selling off stocks and moving to traditional safe havens such as gold and US government bonds. The Dow lost 36 points or -0.17%, the S&P 500 slipped just -0.04% and Nasdaq fell -0.28%. Defense and home improvement stocks were among the day's risers while travel & tourism and consumer electronics lagged.
The dollar followed where stock markets went on a downward trajectory while the Japanese yen and Swiss franc rose as investors fled to safe haven currencies. US bond prices also rose while gold closed at its highest for the week up 1.52% to $1281.
- Dow 22,048 -0.17%
- S&P 500 2,474 -0.04%
- Nasdaq 6,352 -0.28%
- Russell 2000 1,396 -0.94%
- NYSE Composite 11,929 -0.17%
- Gold 1,282 +1.56%
- Oil WTI $49 +0.87%
- 10-Year Treasury Yield 2.24% -0.01%
Disney to launch own streaming service
Disney shares fell sharply on Wednesday -3.88% weighing on the big board after the company reported a mixed third quarter financial performance and news about going head to head with other streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.
The media company said it would end its film distribution pact with Netlix for new movies in 2019 and launching its own.
Disney reported third quarter earnings per share of $1.58 on revenue of $14.2bn beating estimates of $1.55 but missed expectations of $14.4bn.
Defense stocks rise along with tensions
The Dow Jones US Defense Index increased +1.61% in trading today, over one year the index has gained 23% compared to Dow Jones Industrial Average of 18.97%.
The boost to the sector has been seen from the howkish stance of the presidential contender, Hilary Clinton prior to the election and carried through President Trump's time in office.
Raytheon, which manufactures Tomahawk cruise missiles jumped +2.57% while other defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin (+1.71%), Northrop Grumman (+1.22%) and L3 Tech (+1.99%) also saw gains.
In information released on Wednesday, US crude inventories fell for the sixth consecutive week according to the Energy Information Adminstration by 6.45 million barrels for the week ending August 4. The drop was greater than an expected 2.37 million barrels.