Economy

Dollar down after poor United States producer prices and rising unemployment claimants

Dollar down after poor United States producer prices and rising unemployment claimants

"The escalation of the geopolitical situation between the US and North Korea is beginning to rattle investors' nerves as was witnessed in the VIX index yesterday", said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial.

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

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 14 points, a gain of 0.07 percent, the Nasdaq composite rose almost 40 points or 0.64 percent and the S&P 500 gained 3 points or 0.13 percent.

U.S. President Donald Trump issued a new threat to North Korea, saying American weapons were "locked and loaded" as Pyongyang accused him of driving the Korean Peninsula to the brink of nuclear war.

Winners and Losers: Ralph Lauren Corp. and Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. reported earnings that beat investors' expectations, sending shares in both to soar 13 percent and 22 percent. Only 3 of the 30 stocks in the Dow finished the day with a gain: IBM, Coca-Cola and McDonald's. Discovery Communications fell 70 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $23.60. Others anxious about lofty market valuations and pockets of weakness like the mounting red ink at JCPenney and Snap, both of which crashed to record lows on Friday. The consumer discretionary index was one of its biggest losers with a 0.47 percent drop.

The CBOE Volatility Index (.VIX), better known as the VIX and the most widely-followed barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, closed at 10.96, its highest in about a month.

Financial stocks underperformed after U.S. Treasury yields fell as bond prices rose in a flight to safety by nervous investors. We should also be aware of the risk of responding to geo-political shocks by selling assets: too often we find ourselves selling at the moment of highest fear, only to be out of the market as a rebound in stock market prices takes place as tensions wind down.

Developments regarding the situation with North Korea may remain in focus next week, although traders are also likely to keep an eye on reports on retail sales, housing starts, and industrial production.

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European shares fell, following falls in Asia and on Wall Street.

In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline rose 1 cent to $1.61 a gallon, while heating oil was little changed at $1.63 a gallon.

The FTSE 100 is underperforming the DAX and CAC 40 because of several companies that are in the British index are paying dividends.

The weakness among oil service stocks came amid a modest decrease by the price of crude oil, with crude for September delivery slipping $0.22 to $49.17 a barrel. Brent crude, the global standard, lost 23 cents to $52.14 a barrel in London.

Copper traded at $2.912, down 0.25%, while natural gas tacked on 0.23% to $2.991.

Silver gained 47 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $16.86 an ounce.

The dollar fell to 109.85 yen from 110.48 yen late Tuesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.3 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index advanced by 0.6 percent. The euro held steady at $1.1752. The Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.


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