Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Stocks Remain Mostly Negative In Mid-Day Trading

S&P 500 e-minis were down 9.25 points, or 0.37 percent, with 296,288 contracts traded.

Strong gains in NY, where the Dow saw repeated record highs up until three day ago, had kept investor optimism high when news of the conflict first broke, Currie said.

Trump was responding to North Korea's claim it was completing plans to fire four intermediate-range missiles over Japan to land near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index fell 143.08 points to 15,074.25, with almost all of its sectors moving lower. North Korea responded with threats to launch missiles into the Pacific Ocean near Guam, a USA territory. "That did temporarily shake investors' complacency, but we think markets are ready to move higher in the back half of the year, and earnings and economic data are going to drive that". The Dow closed up 0.05% and the Nasdaq was up 0.64%. Both were coming off record highs. Or are people using these geopolitical concerns as an excuse to take money out of the market -- tech stocks in particular?

Trump continued to ramp up the rhetoric with a post on Twitter this morning indicating that the United States is prepared to take military action against North Korea.

"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States", Trump told journalists from his New Jersey gold club.

The CBOE Volatility Index, better known as the VIX and the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, rose the most in about 12 weeks.The index ended up 4.93 points at 16.04, the highest level since November 8, when Trump was elected president. Economists had expected productivity to increase by 0.7%. Seagate shares rose 74 cents to $32.29.

The group reported a 16.7% rise in pre-tax profits to £237 million in the six months to June 30, while revenue rose 12.5% to £3.97 billion. They are looking for confirmation the Fed is sticking with plans for a possible December interest rate hike. Regions Financial shed 23 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $14.07. The company also said sales at its established stores declined for the fourth straight quarter.

The heavyweight financials sector, which accounts for more than a third of the index's weight, was down 0.25 percent as US and Canadian bond yields fell.

When Japanese traders get back to their desks Monday, stocks will need to catch up with Friday's regional weakness and the yen's recent gains against the dollar, up 1.5% on the week.

Oil prices rose before a report expected to show USA crude stocks fell for a sixth week.

The biggest fallers were G4S down 24.7p to 305.9p, Standard Chartered down 20.9p to 783.1p, Prudential down 44p to 1,841.5p, Shire down 92p to 3,945p. It was last up 1.2 percent at 1.1305 per euro.

The selling was also in response to lower prices in Asia and Europe. Chinese blue chips closed flat but Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.4 per cent.

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