Wall Street was in retreat for a second straight session, spending all of Wednesday's trading in the red as investors sounded a cautious note over geopolitical worries by pressing pause on the recent equities rally.
With the war of words between North Korea and the U.S. heating up -- including threats of firing missiles at U.S. territory Guam and talk about the strength of U.S. nuclear weapons -- assets seen as safer havens in turbulent times climbed. Gold futures surged and bond prices rose.
The CBOE Volatility index, a measure of expectations of stock-market volatility, jumped to the highest in a month.
After President Donald Trump threatened North Korea with "fire and fury" if the Asian country makes any more threats to attack the U.S., North Korea said it's considering a strike on the Pacific island of Guam. Asian and European stocks also slumped on the saber-rattling, and Trump tweeted that the U.S. nuclear arsenal was stronger and more powerful than ever, while adding that hopefully the country won't have to use the weapons.
It's all been enough to knock the Dow Jones Industrial Average off its record-high perch and hand the blue-chip index its first multi-day decline in more than two weeks. Mixed earnings from Walt Disney ( DIS ) and news that it's ending a deal with Netflix ( NFLX ) to start its own streaming service sent the entertainment company's stock down 3.9% by the close in the steepest loss on the Dow.
The S&P 500 attempted a late-day comeback, paring most of its losses to end little changed and ending with six of its 11 sectors in the green. Health care was up the most, rising 0.18%, while consumer discretionary posted the steepest loss, down 0.5%. Energy was 0.1% stronger as oil prices rose on a larger-than-expected drop in U.S. crude stockpiles.
Here's where the markets stood by the close:
Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 36.64 points (-0.17%)
S&P 500 was down 0.90 points (-0.04%)
Nasdaq Composite Index was down 18.13 points (-0.28%)
FTSE 100 was down 0.59%
Nikkei 225 was down 1.29%
Hang Seng Index was down 0.35%
Shanghai China Composite Index was down 0.19%
(+) NTRA (+26.84%) Reports narrower-than-expected loss
(+) HTZ (+23.04%) Q2 sales beat but loss per share wider than forecasts; outlook upbeat
(+) ACHN (+19.95%) Widens Q2 loss vs year ago level, in-line with Street
(+) GDOT (+13.8%) Q2 results beat forecasts as guidance raised
(+) XTNT (+13.64%) Gets FDA clearance for product line extensions for Calic-C family of cervical interbody cages
(-) ODP (-25.86%) Adjusted earnings and sales miss Wall Street forecasts
(-) PRAA (-13.73%) Misses Street on Q2 earnings and revenue
(-) CECE (-10.91%) Q2 results miss views and CEO sees 2017 as "challenging"
(-) ZG (-9.11%) Q2 tops but guidance mixed
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.
Copyright (C) 2016 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.