Wall Street opens lower as North Korea tensions escalate

Stock markets around the world were under pressure on Wednesday amid increased tensions between the USA and North Korea following comments from President Donald Trump, and big entertainment stocks were among the many decliners. The Dow is down 61.31 points or 0.3 percent at 22,024.03, the Nasdaq is down 30.87 points or 0.5 percent at 6,339.59 and the S&P 500 is down 5.90 points or 0.2 percent at 2,469.02.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.1% to 2,482 as of 1:45 p.m. The consumer discretionary index was one of its biggest losers with a 0.47 percent drop.

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.

Officials in North Korea said they were "carefully examining" a strike on Guam, which is home to around 163,000 people and two USA military installations and threatened a further "all-out war wiping out all the strongholds of enemies, including the US mainland" in a government statement.

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 USA hostility, including joint military drills with South Korea.

Trump's comments sparked a late afternoon selling on Tuesday, with the Dow ending a nine-day streak of closing records.

Tropical Storm Franklin makes way to Mexican bay
The government of Mexico has issued a hurricane watch for part of the eastern peninsula from Chetumal to Punta Allen. High pressure in the southern US should remain strong enough that Franklin will not directly affect the U.S.

Miami Dolphins bring QB Jay Cutler out of retirement
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No substantial evidence on 39 missing Indians, says Iraq
Apart from Sushma Swaraj, al-Jaafari met Vice President Hamid Ansari and Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan. However, a report in Hindustan Times said that the jail in Badush was in ruins and there was no sign of the Indians.

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

Mr. Trump's threatening rhetoric on North Korea "is nearly entirely responsible for the pullback", said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab.

USA crude oil inventories fell by 6.5 million barrels to 1.15 billion barrels while gasoline inventories rose 3.4 million barrels to 231.1 million barrels in the week ended August 4, the Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index tumbled by 1.3 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell by 0.4 percent. The Dow slid 0.2 percent to 22,085.34. Yields fall when prices rise.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 23 cents to $48.94 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price global oils, gave up 29 cents to $51.85 in London. The euro edged down to $1.1726 from $1.1751.

MARKETS ABROAD: In Europe, Germany's DAX rose 0.3%, and France's CAC 40 gained 0.2%. In Asia, markets were mostly lower after disappointing Chinese trade data.


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