Stock Futures Lower as North Korea Threatens US in Guam

The Latest: Trump says US nuke arsenal 'stronger' than ever

Tensions Escalate Between The Us And North Korea

Highly-rated government bond yields fell on Wednesday as tensions between North Korea and the United States firmed investor demand for so-called "safe haven" assets.

At 12:28 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 52.87 points, or 0.24 percent, at 22,032.47, the S&P 500 was down 2.8 points, or 0.11 percent, at 2,472.12.

The broad-based S&P 500 fell 0.4 percent to 2,466.18, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 0.8 percent to 6,320.72. The consumer discretionary index was one of its biggest losers with a 0.47 percent drop.

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.

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North Korea said it was considering an attack on the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam just hours after President Donald Trump warned Pyongyang that any threat to the U.S. would be met with "fire and fury".

USA 30-year bond yields, which move inversely to prices, also hit a six-week trough, while yields on US 2-year notes matched a low hit four weeks ago. The index, along with the Dow, notched an intraday record earlier in the session. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 2 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,416.

Trump's comments sparked a late afternoon selling on Tuesday, with the Dow ending a nine-day streak of closing records.

Trump tweeted on Wednesday about the strength of the American nuclear arsenal, but expressed hope it would not need to be used, while U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he did not believe there was an imminent threat. Simon Property Group fell $3.51, or 2.1 percent, to $162.86, while Macerich slid $1.28, or 2.1 percent, to $59.33. It fell 19 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $49.39 per barrel Monday in NY. Japan's Nikkei 225 slipped 0.3%. Yields fall when prices rise.

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In the latest USA 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. Brent crude, the global standard, lost 28 cents to $52.09 a barrel in London. The euro slid to $1.1760 from $1.1793.

About 6.22 billion shares changed hands on US stock exchanges, slightly above the 6.15 billion average for the last 20 sessions. In Asia, markets were mostly lower after disappointing Chinese trade data.

MARKETS ABROAD: In Europe, Germany's DAX rose 0.3 percent, while France's CAC 40 added 0.2 percent.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was off 0.09%.

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