Gold steady near 2-mth highs as N. Korea tensions continue

Gold steady near 2-mth highs as N. Korea tensions continue

Perrigo surged 17.6 percent after the drugmaker raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast.

"From a geopolitical perspective, we understand why the escalation in tensions will have shaken some of the complacency out of investors", said Eric Wiegand, senior portfolio manager at U.S. Bank Private Client Wealth Management. "But we're in a low inflationary environment, which can help valuations remain elevated for longer than they would otherwise".

USA stocks have risen week after week this year - with the S&P up more than 9 percent - in extremely low volatility, as strong corporate earnings and an improving global economy offset disappointment that President Donald Trump's promises to lower corporate taxes and implement a massive infrastructure spending have so far failed to see the light of day.

The Vix, a measure of how much volatility investors expect in stocks, jumped to its highest level since May after North Korea revealed a plan to launch ballistic missiles toward a major US military hub in the Pacific. And when the S&P 500 breaks a streak of 50+ trading days without a 1%+ up move, the index actually averages a decline over the next month and a gain of just 0.86% over the next three months. The S&P 500 is set to end the week down 1.4%, its biggest weekly loss since March.

While stocks have declined this week, the sell-off has not been dramatic.

Computer hardware stocks rebounded following recent weakness, with the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index climbing by 1.4%.

Investors said the rhetoric may have sparked some selling, but it wasn't exclusively to blame for the sharp fall.

Another source of support to bullion was data showing USA producer prices unexpectedly fell in July, pointing to a further moderation in inflation that could delay a Federal Reserve interest rate increase.

Majority says current Congress a failure so far
That could be a bad sign for Republicans as they prepare to defend their House and Senate majorities in the 2018 elections. For example, 6 in 10 Republicans and Trump backers want the GOP to continue its repeal and replace drive in Congress .

Losses at the Snapchat parent ballooned to $443 million in the second quarter, a almost fourfold increase from the same period previous year.

Nvidia Corp.(NVDA) shares fell 5.5%, even after the chip maker posted upbeat earnings late Thursday. Apple is still up 35% for 2017 and hovers near a record high.

Despite the gains on the day, the major averages moved lower for the week.

The selling in the USA extended to global markets Friday.

"The slight bias to the upside (in stocks) is a result of the CPI number".

An editorial in China's state-run Global Times (http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1060791.shtml), published late Thursday local time, added to the pressure on Asian markets.

The possibility of war breaking out on the Korean Peninsula is "very low" and tensions between the US and North Korea will probably dip around September or October, according to Yang Moo-Jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul.

The Dow lost more than 100 points on Thursday as investors fretted over escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea. On Friday, fellow retailer J.C. Penney dropped 16% after its second-quarter loss exceeded expectations.

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