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Wall St set to open lower as tensions with N.Korea mount
December 16 2017, 10:35 | Alexander Lowe
Stocks faded into the close Tuesday spooked by a comment from President Trump about the North Korea situation
All three major stock indexes dropped 0.2 per cent at the close, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average finishing at 22,085.34, halting a almost two-week run of closing records.
Utilities closed up 0.3 percent while the materials sector .SPLRCM was the S&P's biggest loser with a 0.9-percent drop.
US stock indexes looked set to open lower on Wednesday as investors shunned risky assets following escalating tensions between North Korea and the United States.
After a dip of as much as 0.52 percent earlier in the day, Wall Street's three major indexes bounced off intraday lows.
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 35 cents to $49.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Investors, who took the North Korea report from Japan in their stride earlier in the day, lost their appetite for risk after Trump's comments to reporters during his vacation at his golf club in New Jersey.
The Nasdaq Composite was down 16.88 points, or 0.26 percent, at 6,353.58.
The tough talk came amid reports that North Korea had developed technology to miniaturize a nuclear warhead that could be placed in a intercontinental ballistic missile.
Pyongyang said it was examining plans for attacking Guam, a US territory in the Pacific that has a USA military base.
Brokerage stocks are among the few groups seeing notable weakness, with the NYSE Arca Broker/Dealer Index down by 1 percent. Economists had expected productivity to increase by 0.7 percent. Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman and the Dow Jones U.S. defense index .DJUSDN was up 1.48 percent after hitting a record high. It fell 19 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $49.39 per barrel Monday in NY.
BONDS: Bond prices fell.
In the latest United States economic data, the Labour Department's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, showed job openings rose by 461,000 to a seasonally adjusted 6.2 million, a record high. The euro fell to $1.1760 from $1.1793. Brent crude, the global standard, lost 28 cents to $52.09 a barrel in London.
The Fed is expected to announce next month the start of the reduction of its balance sheet, which ballooned with the extended quantitative easing program undertaken to stimulate the USA economy after the financial crisis. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.27% from 2.26%.
MARKETS ABROAD: In Europe, Germany's DAX rose 0.3 percent, while France's CAC 40 added 0.2 percent. Meanwhile, markets in Japan, South Korea and other Asian countries were also lower, and so-called futures signaled that US markets would also open down.