United States stocks fall on North Korea worries

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United States stocks fall on North Korea worries

Wall Street clawed back losses but closed slightly lower on Wednesday amid earnings disappointments by Walt Disney and other big companies and as investors appeared to brush off North Korea concerns. Netflix also fell, giving up $3.19, or 1.8 percent, to $175.17.

Wall Street put a floor under global equities on Friday after a weak inflation reading brought investors back into US stocks even as tensions between the United States and North Korea continued to escalate, though that tension still drove safe-haven buying of gold and the yen.

On Thursday, the CBOE Volatility Index, a barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, closed at its highest since the US presidential election.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 35 points, or 1.4 percent, to 2,438, its biggest drop since mid-May.

Dow e-minis were up 6 points, or 0.03 percent, with 29,187 contracts changing hands at 8:34 a.m. ET (1234 GMT). But for the week the S&P 500 lost 1.3 percent, its worst weekly showing since March.

Data showed US producer prices unexpectedly fell in July, recording their biggest drop in almost a year, while another set showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week.

"When investors are optimistic to the extreme, it means that most of their money is already in the market and there's no more money coming in", Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Robert W. Baird & Co in Sarasota, Florida.

Ongoing global glut concerns lingered in oil markets despite a bigger-than-expected draw in US crude inventories.

Oil prices closed lower after an early rally faded. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, added 59 cents to $53.29.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.7% at closing, France's CAC 40 fell 1.4% after a vehicle hit a group of soldiers in Paris in what is thought to have been a deliberate act, and a fall in bond yields saw Germany's DAX down 1.1%.

In an inversion of the curve, the spot VIX rose above VIX futures, meaning traders are paying more for protection against a sudden sharp drop on the S&P than for protection in the future. Germany's DAX fell 1.2 percent, while the CAC 40 in France lost 0.7 percent. Wholesale gasoline dropped 2 cents to $1.60 a gallon, while heating oil shed 2 cents to $1.63 a gallon.

South Korea's KOSPI .KS11 fell 1.7 percent on Friday to its lowest since May 24, but its losses for the week were a relatively modest 3.2 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 109.78 yen from 110.06 late Wednesday in Asia. Silver gained 20 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $17.07 an ounce. The euro slid to $1.1742 from $1.1752. Britain's FTSE 100 sank 1.4 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dipped 1.1 percent to 27,444.00. Both the core and headline rates are expected to have risen by 0.2 percent during July.

US crude fell 0.41 percent to $48.39 per barrel and Brent was last at $51.68, down 0.42 percent on the day.

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