North Korea Tensions Hit Global Stock Markets

The Dow was heading for a tenth straight record close on Tuesday after better-than-expected US jobs dataMore

Futures for the S&P 500 dropped 10.25 points, or 0.4%, to 2,462.50.

The Nasdaq composite also slipped 0.21%.

USA stocks were lower Wednesday afternoon as investors rushed to safe-haven assets after President Donald Trump's "fire and fury" warning to North Korea escalated tensions with the nuclear-armed nation.

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Technology and consumer-focused companies helped lift US stocks higher in afternoon trading Tuesday, steering the market indexes further into record territory.

Pyongyang has made no secret of its plans to develop a nuclear-tipped missile able to strike the United States, which it says are a legitimate means of defence against perceived US hostility, including joint military drills with South Korea.

Trump tweeted on Wednesday about the strength of the American nuclear arsenal, but expressed hope it would not need to be used, while U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he did not believe there was an imminent threat.

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The back-and-forth came on the heels of reports the U.S. intelligence community has determined North Korea has successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles.

North Korea said it is considering plans for a missile strike on the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam earlier on Wednesday, just hours after President Donald Trump told the North that any threat to the United States would be met with "fire and fury".

WALL STREET: Losses in health care and consumer-focused companies pulled USA stocks lower, snapping a 10-day winning streak for the Dow Jones industrial average. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 2 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,416. More than 70 percent of S&P 500 companies that had reported posted better-than-expected earnings while 69 percent have beaten of sales, according to data from Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index tumbled by 1.3%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell by 0.4%. The Dow slid 0.2 percent to 22,085.34. Energy stocks fell along with crude prices as investors kept an eye on the latest company earnings and geopolitical news.

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In 2014, Captain Caguaripano released a 12-minute video denouncing the president during a previous wave of anti-government unrest. President Maduro claims the new constituent assembly is meant to bring calm to a country that has seen months of violent unrest.

In late trading, US 10-year yields were at 2.237. Brent crude, the worldwide standard, lost 28 cents to $52.09 a barrel in London. The S&P experienced a sharp decline that began Tuesday as soon as Mr. Trump issued an ultimatum to North Korea. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.27% from 2.26%. Elsewhere, the German Dax has opened down 0.80%, France's CAC40 index is down 0.87%, and the Euro Stoxx 50 is down 0.81%.

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