Technology companies were leading a broad slide in US stocks in early trading Thursday as investors pored over the latest batch of corporate earnings reports. Tax duties usually prompt export-focused companies to convert part of their foreign currency revenues to meet local liabilities. Simmering tensions between the USA and North Korea were also weighing on the market. Gold hit a two-month high of $1,278 an ounce amid the nervousness.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 7 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,466 as of 11:20 a.m.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 50 points, or 0.2%, to 22,032.
Stocks are lower at midday as investors weighed the growing tensions between the US and North Korea.
Trump continued the back-and-forth with a post on Twitter this morning indicating that the U.S.is prepared to take military action against North Korea. The general also outlined plans to launch four Hwasong-12 ballistic missiles to strike the sea around USA territory Guam.
The markets may benefit from bargain hunting, as some traders look to pick up stocks at reduced levels following the pullback seen over the past few sessions. In three days. the Nasdaq has lost 2.6% - the most since last September. Rival Advanced Micro Devices was also down 2.6 percent.
Disappointing earnings also helped pull the market lower Wednesday.
In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index fell 1%.
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Shares of Kohl's were down 8.4 percent, while Macy's fell 4 percent after the department store operators reported a fall in sales. Germany's DAX Index fell 0.6%, the UK's FTSE 100 Index retreated 1.2% and France's CAC 40 Index slid 1.4%.
The Nasdaq is up 833.75 points, or 15.5 percent.
Greg McKenna, an analyst at AxiTrader, said the data could bolster the Federal Reserve's plan to start winding in its multi-trillion-dollar bond holdings balance sheet, expected to be announced next month.
Ralph Lauren Corp. shares gained $10.38, or 13.3 percent, to $88.53, while peer-to-peer loan company LendingClub Corp. added 99 cents, or 18.1 percent, to $6.45.
On the currency front, the USA dollar is trading at 108.82 yen compared to the 109.20 yen it fetched at the close of NY trading on Thursday. It added 39 cents to $49.56 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, used to price global oils, gained 10 cents to $52.24 in London.
Gold fell $2.10 to $1,262.60 an ounce.
USA stocks moved lower in morning trading Wednesday as traders weighed the growing tensions between the US and North Korea.
Investors also kept an eye on tech stocks, as the year's best-performing sector dropped more than 1 percent. Wall Street was poised for a soft opening with S&P futures and Dow futures both down 0.2 percent. South Korea's Kospi fell 0.5 percent.