S. Korea's NSC to hold emergency meeting over N. Korean missile threats

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Those moves came after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made an explicit threat to strike a USA military base in Guam (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/north-korea-threatens-missile-strike-on-us-base-on-guam-2017-08-08).

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 7 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,467.

The stage was set for the USA indexes to go lower early Wednesday as investors around the world reacted to the rising war of words between the US and North Korea, pushing global market indexes lower.

The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 1%, while stocks in Asia mostly ended lower. Trump's comments followed reports that the North has mastered a technology needed to strike the United States with a nuclear missile.

Efforts by the U.S. to dial down rhetoric have failed to shift the bearish mood among investors.

Tomoaki Fujii, head of investment research at Akatsuki Securities in Tokyo, said: "The sell-off caused by geopolitical tensions on North Korea will likely be short-lived as long as both Trump and Kim Jong Un keep making feints against each other and neither takes military action".

'Traders are on red alert as the mention of war has sent them running for cover.

"The markets are looking for direction after Wednesday's sharp moves and geopolitical concerns will dominate investor mindsets in the coming days", said Esther Maria Reichelt, an FX strategist at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

The financial sector (-1.8%) also underperformed the broader market, as did the consumer discretionary group (-1.5%), which was hurt by retailers as shown by the 3.1% plunge in the SPDR Retail ETF.

Tech stocks (-2.2%) led the retreat, sending the tech-heavy Nasdaq (-2.1%) and the S&P 500 (-1.5%) below their 50-day MAs for the first time in a month; the Dow fell 0.9%.

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Along with stopping the missile launches, North Korea would have to quit its nuclear weapons testing, he said recently. The United States will have direct talks with North Korea if the rogue nation agrees to stopping their ICBM tests .

However, shares of Dean Foods tumbled, trading 20.1 percent weaker at US$11.96 as of 2.24pm in NY, after the USA dairy processor posted quarterly results that fell short of expectations and downgraded its full-year forecast amid "a challenging and rapidly evolving retail environment".

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 109.96 yen from 110.48 yen late Tuesday.

Disney reported third quarter earnings per share of $1.58 on revenue of $14.2bn beating estimates of $1.55 but missed expectations of $14.4bn. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.26%.

The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand edged down by 0.1 percent in July after inching up by 0.1 percent in June.

The Nasdaq composite lost 18.13 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,352.33.

The dollar index fell 0.1 per cent, with the euro up 0.01 per cent to US$1.175 (RM5.04).

In commodities, crude oil stretched gains after rising overnight on data pointing to declining US inventories. The market slide accelerated slightly in the last half-hour of trading as Trump denounced North Korea's nuclear program.

Gold prices closed up around 1.48% at $1,281.30 per ounce on Wednesday.

Elsewhere, French conglomerate Vivendi saw its stock fall 2.1 percent in the morning hours, while Italy's Mediaset dropped only 0.3 percent.

On the currency front, the United States dollar is trading at 109.73 yen compared to the 110.07 yen it fetched at the close of NY trading on Wednesday.

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