U.S. Stocks Open Nearly Unchanged

Global stocks down following Spain attacks

-- Haven assets advance

U.S. stocks opened mostly flat Friday, a day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted its biggest decline in three months.

No big economic data and few corporate earnings reports contributed to quiet trading Friday morning. That runs counter to Thursday, when disappointing earnings, a terror attack in Barcelona and unfounded rumors about the resignation of a key adviser in the White House led to a steep stock selloff.

"There was a lot of noise yesterday," said Kenny Polcari, director at brokerage O'Neil Securities. "A lot of that drama isn't going to price stocks in the long term, but it does cause short-term movement."

He added that he suspects stock-market moves to remain muted on Friday unless "there's any more controversy" coming out of the White House.

The Dow industrials and the S&P 500 fell 0.1% in early trading, while the Nasdaq Composite lost less than 0.1%.

In corporate news, retailer Ross Stores' shares rose 10% after beating sales expectations in its earnings. Shoe retailer Foot Locker Inc. tumbled 25% after its earnings early Friday failed to meet analyst expectations on profit and sales.

Retailers in the U.S. have been releasing mixed results on earnings throughout the week.

Agricultural company Deere & Co. shares were down 7.4% after its sales figures fell short of expectations.

European markets were broadly lower after an assault in Barcelona and a subsequent attack in the Spanish coastal town of Cambrils left at least 14 people dead. The Stoxx Europe 600 slid 0.8% Friday afternoon. Spain's benchmark IBEX 35 was one of Europe's biggest decliners, down 0.9%.

Shares of European travel companies suffered some of the largest losses of the day. International Consolidated Airlines Group SA -- one of the biggest decliners in the U. K. -- fell 1.6%. Airline shares in Europe tend to endure a short-lived selloff in the wake of terror attacks as investors assess the potential for a hit to tourism.

Simmering geopolitical tensions and the Trump administration's strained relationship with business leaders saw investors shift to haven assets, boosting gold by 0.9%. The U.S. 10-year Treasury yield slid to 2.176% Friday from 2.197% Thursday, according to data from Tradeweb. Yields move inversely to prices.

The WSJ Dollar Index, which tracks the dollar against a basket of currencies, was down 0.4%.

In Asia, markets were lower Friday with financial shares among the region's biggest decliners.

The Nikkei Stock Average was down 1.2%, and has suffered its largest weekly decline since mid-May. There was added pressure from the advance of the yen against the dollar, last up 0.5%.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was down 1.1%, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 narrowed its loss to 0.6%. Korea's Kospi was off 0.1%. In China, the Shanghai Composite Index was flat.

Ese Erheriene, Kosaku Narioka and Kenan Machado contributed to this article.

Write to Corrie Driebusch at corrie.driebusch@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 18, 2017 10:07 ET (14:07 GMT)