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Political tensions continue to weigh on stocks

12 August 2017

US stock indexes were set to open little changed on Friday, with the S&P 500 on track to post its biggest weekly loss in nine months, as investors remained cautious on heightened tensions between the United States and North Korea.

In other news, United States wholesale inflation dropped in July, the first contraction in almost a year and another data point that could weaken the case for the Federal Reserve to raise the benchmark interest rate again later this year.

Investors have been jittery about North Korea since Tuesday when Trump said any threats from Pyongyang would be "met with fire and fury like the world has never seen". "If the answer is 'yes, ' then you better get defensive".

"There was some skittishness earlier but then some buyers stepped in", he said.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed down 143.08 points, or 0.94 percent, at 15,074.25, its lowest close since July 7.

Stock Futures Lower as North Korea Threatens US in Guam
Flatter flight paths could make them more threatening to extended targets, including, it now appears, the area around Guam . ASIA'S DAY: The earlier Asian session was heavily influenced by the sabre-rattling between the USA and North Korea .

The escalation provided an excuse for a selloff many investors consider overdue, some investors and analysts said. The stock was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500, rising $8.02 to $45.25.

Winners and Losers: Live-events company Live Nation saw its stock climb more than five percent Thursday on news that concert ticket sales jumped 22 percent from a year ago. And when the S&P 500 breaks a streak of 50+ trading days without a 1%+ up move, the index actually averages a decline over the next month and a gain of just 0.86% over the next three months.

On the currency markets, sterling rose 0.2% to flit around the 1.30 U.S. dollar mark, with the greenback falling in response to the latest USA inflation data. And Blue Apron shares dipped after its first earnings report as a public company.

Shares of SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. slid 6.2 percent after the theme park operator reported second-quarter revenue that fell short of Wall Street's expectations.

Overall it has been a strong stretch for corporate profits.

US Defense Secretary issues stark warning to North Korea
Trump also warned if Kim followed through on plans to strike Guam, the USA response "will be an event the likes of which nobody's seen before".

Avis Budget Group Inc. slumped 9.9 percent after the vehicle rental company cut its guidance following a weak second quarter.

The consumer price data, which pointed to weak inflation, could cause the Federal Reserve to hold off from raising rates again this year. Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.1 percent.

On the economic front, the Labor Department released a report showing an unexpected drop in USA producer prices in the month of July.

Friday's report was the latest in a string of lackluster inflation readings, which have surprised many investors who had entered the year betting on an upsurge in economic growth and inflation.

Pep Guardiola forecasts end to Manchester City spending spree
I know a lot of the pundits are going for City but you feel like this is a Guardiola team now. I just think Manchester City have strengthened in all the right areas where they needed to.

Political tensions continue to weigh on stocks