MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stock Benchmarks Set To Add To Losses As North Korean Tensions Simmer

By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Blue Apron shares tumble after reporting results

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U.S. stock-index futures looked set to add to losses on Thursday as tensions between the U.S. and North Korea remained elevated.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 48 points, or 0.2%, to 21,970, while S&P 500 futures dropped 9.50 points, or 0.4%, to 2,463.50. Tech stocks were indicating bigger losses, as Nasdaq-100 futures slid 36.50 points, or 0.6%, to 5,886.

"Traders would require nerves of steel to start buying into the stock market now, given standoff between the U.S. and North Korea," David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets U.K., said in a note to clients.

Stocks finished off their lows, but still held on to losses Wednesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stock-futures-pull-back-as-north-korea-threatens-guam-2017-08-09), as investors remained anxious about the U.S.-North Korea war of words and a clutch of disappointing earnings reports.

Meanwhile, traders absorbed a report on jobless claims (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-jobless-claims-rise-by-3000-to-244000-2017-08-10) that showed that initial claims for U.S. unemployment-insurance benefits continue to reflect a strong labor market, even as they inched slightly higher. The number of people who applied for U.S. unemployment-insurance benefits rose by 3,000 to 244,000 in the week that ended August 5, the Labor Department reported.

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Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected the government to report that initial claims for regular state unemployment-insurance benefits rose 2,000 to 242,000.

Meanwhile, U.S. wholesale prices (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-wholesale-inflation-fall-01-in-july-first-decline-in-almost-a-year-2017-08-10) declined in July for the first time in almost a year, providing additional evidence of tepid inflation that is bedeviling the Federal Reserve.

Opinion:Time is running out to avoid war with North Korea (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/time-is-running-out-to-avoid-war-with-north-korea-2017-08-09)

On Wednesday, the Dow closed down 0.2% at 22,048.70, the S&P 500 closed less than 0.1% lower at 2,474.02, and the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.3% to 6,352.33.

"Over the last few days we've been wondering what it would take to knock the S&P 500 out of its 90-year record low trading range of no moves of bigger than 0.3% in either direction," said Deutsche Bank analysts in a note to clients.

But after yesterday's action on the index, "we can possibly rule out the threat of nuclear war as a catalyst," said Jim Reid, strategist, and Jeff Cai, research analyst. They noted the S&P 500 managed to close only 0.04% lower, extending that run of tight moves to 15 days.

The geopolitical tension continued Thursday, after a North Korean army commander said, "Sound dialogue is not possible" with Trump and "only absolute force can work on him," according to state media. North Korea also laid out detailed plans of how it would launch a missile strike on U.S. military bases in Guam (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/north-korea-details-plan-to-fire-missiles-toward-guam-says-only-absolute-force-will-work-with-trump-2017-08-09).

Economic docket: Data on tap includes weekly jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, with producer prices for July coming at the same time. The federal budget for July is scheduled for release at 2 p.m. Eastern.

New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley will speak on wage inequality in the New York region at 10 a.m. Eastern.

Stocks to watch: Blue Apron shares tumbled 11% in premarket, despite a beat on revenue (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/blue-apron-shares-climb-after-revenue-beat-better-customer-revenue-2017-08-10). Shares of Kohl's (KSS) declined 1.3% after an earnings beat (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/kohls-stock-jumps-premarket-after-earnings-beat-2017-08-10).

Macy's(M) added 1.2% in premarket as the retailer reaffirmed downbeat guidance, but reported second-quarter earnings and revenue that beat expectation (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/macys-shares-rise-after-earnings-revenue-beat-2017-08-10)s. Net income was $116.0 million, or 38 cents per share, up from $11.0 million, or 3 cents per share, for the same period last year.

Opinion: Here's one retailer Amazon won't kill (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-one-retailer-amazon-wont-kill-2017-08-09)

Snapchat parent Snap Inc.(SNAP), Nordstrom Inc.(JWN), News Corp.(NWS.AU) and Nvidia Corp.(NVDA) will report after the close.

Check out earnings previews for Snap (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/snap-earnings-as-facebook-and-google-challenge-turf-new-approach-rolls-out-2017-08-09) (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/snap-earnings-as-facebook-and-google-challenge-turf-new-approach-rolls-out-2017-08-09)and Nvidia (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nvidia-earnings-cryptocurrency-boom-could-lead-to-new-products-2017-08-08)

(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nvidia-earnings-cryptocurrency-boom-could-lead-to-new-products-2017-08-08)Other markets: Investors' appetite for assets perceived as haven in times of geopolitical trouble ebbed slightly. The Swiss franc gave up some gains (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/swiss-franc-gives-up-some-gains-as-investors-monitor-us-north-korea-standoff-2017-08-10), as the U.S. dollar was slightly higher across the board. Gold jumped $9.60, or 0.7%, to $1,288.50 an ounce, trading at a roughly two-month high.

Read:Here's why export powerhouse Germany is 'euphoric' even with a soaring euro (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/export-reliant-germany-euphoric-even-as-the-euro-soars-yes-heres-why-2017-08-09)

Oil prices were climbing, but data from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries showed a further rise in crude-oil production in July (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/opec-production-rises-in-july-in-latest-blow-to-output-deal-2017-08-10).

Asian markets continued to fall on Thursday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-markets-continue-to-fall-after-wednesdays-selloff-2017-08-09), with losses of over 1% for the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index . European stocks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-fall-as-caution-over-geopolitical-tensions-linger-2017-08-10) were also in the red.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 10, 2017 08:53 ET (12:53 GMT)