Tech companies lead broad slide in United States stocks; oil rises

Investors move to safe havens as US and North Korea trade threats

The S&P 500 index had its biggest one-day drop in nearly three months on Thursday as investors fled riskier assets, with technology stocks leading the charge, in response to an increasingly aggressive exchange of threats between the United States and North Korea.

The Nasdaq finished the day at 6,216.87, a slide of 135.46, while the S&P 500 lost almost 1.5 percent, ending the day at 2,438.21. On Thursday, the Dow Jones index dropped 0.9 percent, or 204,69 points, to 21 844,01. The S&P has lost more than 1 percent on only three days this year.

Oil prices nudged lower with global benchmark Brent crude down 0.31%, and US benchmark West Texas Intermediate down 0.45% recently extending Thursday's selloff following an OPEC report which said the cartel's July production rose 0.5% from June.

Continuing tensions between the United States and North Korea plagued the USA stock market rattling investors and sparking a pull back.

The dollar-denominated RTS index was down 1.5 percent at 1,013 points as of 0834 GMT, taking its year-to-date loss to 12 percent.

However, an Associated Press report that the US and North Korea have been engaged in back channel talks (https://apnews.com/686ac7c761694b28b67793a1d8297145?link=mktw) for several months even as they exchange incendiary threats helped to soothe some of the jitters.

Ryu Yong-seok, a market analyst at KB Securities Co., said tensions between North Korea and the United States are partly to blame for the decline in the main index.

TECH SLIDE: Losses among technology stocks led the market slide.

Gold prices posted strong weekly gains (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-heads-for-strong-weekly-gain-as-stock-market-exit-persists-2017-08-11) thanks to safe-haven demand.

Nvidia's quarterly revenue in its data center and automotive businesses missed estimates, dragging the chipmaker's shares down 5.43 percent.

Significant strength is also visible among computer hardware stocks, as reflected by the 1.1% advance by the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index.

Although the decline in sales was slowed and Macy's point to improved business in the second quarter, investors weren't buying it and the retail sector spasmed. Kohl's like Macy's did beat estimates for earnings and revenues while Dillards delivered a loss of 58 cents per share as a result of deep discounting to shed inventory. Yields fall when bond prices rise.

On the currency front, the US dollar is trading at 108.82 yen compared to the 109.20 yen it fetched at the close of NY trading on Thursday.

Gold added $10.80, or 0.8 percent, to settle at $1,290.10 an ounce.

The local currency closed at 1,143.50 won against the US dollar, down 1.50 won from the previous session's close. The euro rose to $1.1774 from $1.1752. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was down 1.13%.

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