Wall Street falls as investors flee risk on North Korea concerns

Wall Street saw a stock sell-off on Thursday as rising tensions between the US and North Korea filled investors with worry. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, hit a one-month high before trading around 11.7.

At 12.28pm eastern time (16.28 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 52.87 points, or 0.24 per cent, at 22,032.47, the S&P 500 was down 2.8 points, or 0.11 per cent, at 2,472.12.

Mounting tensions lifted United States defense stocks. However, any signs that the U.S.is preparing for an attack on North Korea and/or the actual launching of missiles by North Korea would likely lead to more significant selling pressure.

Consumer-focused stocks, media companies and banks accounted for much of the market decline.

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The price of gold also surged for the second day in a row as the December bullion contract advanced $10.80 U.S.to $1,290.10 U.S.an ounce. Japan's Nikkei 225 was down 1.29%, followed by the Hang Seng index that fell 0.36% and the Shanghai Composite index that dropped 0.03%. Only utilities sector stocks eked out a gain on a day of mostly listless trading as investors kept an eye on the latest company earnings and geopolitical news. The S&P hasn't moved more than 0.5 per cent in a day since July and has fallen more than one per cent only twice this year.

The market indexes wavered between small gains and losses for much of the morning, then veered lower by afternoon.

Disney shares closed down 3.9 percent as investors were skeptical of its plan to launch streaming services rather than rely on Netflix NFLX.O .

Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. climbed 21.5 percent after the luxury handbag and apparel designer and retailer's latest quarterly results beat analysts' forecasts as sales improved. Travel-review website operator TripAdvisor was down 2.7 per cent.

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The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand edged down by 0.1% in July after inching up by 0.1% in June.

Overseas markets were also lower Wednesday.

US crude was at $49.36 a barrel, up 20 cents, or around 0.4%, while Brent rose 19 cents to $52.33.

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TRADEMARK VIOLATION WARNING: This piece was originally reported by Sports Perspectives and is owned by of Sports Perspectives. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link .

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