Wall Street lower on US-North Korea tensions

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The S&P 500 closed 0.04% lower while the Nasdaq Composite closed at 6352.33, down 0.28%. Apple (AAPL.O) was down 2.3 percent, weighing most on the index.

U.S. markets fell on Wednesday morning, spooked by rising tension between the U.S. and North Korea.

Guam Governor Eddie Calvo downplayed North Korea's threat to attack his Pacific island state but said the USA territory was "prepared for any eventuality" in a televised speech Wednesday as tensions escalate in the region.

Trump's comments came after a Washington Post report (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/north-korea-now-making-missile-ready-nuclear-weapons-us-analysts-say/2017/08/08/e14b882a-7b6b-11e7-9d08-b79f191668ed_story.html?utm_term=.0938becb046e) that North Korea has built a miniaturized nuclear warhead.

Outside of geopolitical concerns, disappointing company earnings and outlooks put traders in a selling mood. "As long as it doesn't go beyond just a war of words, this is going to be short-lived".

But the prospect of hefty losses on Wall Street stocks was averted when USA secretary of state Rex Tillerson said there was "no imminent threat of war" and that Americans could "sleep well at night".

German flavors and fragrance maker Symrise fell 3.6%, with analysts pointing to margins missing estimates. Twenty-First Century Fox gave up 46 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $27.57.

Japan's Nikkei had been down more than 1% overnight Tuesday and South Korean shares had also slipped.

Retail results are also on investors' mind as the second-quarter earning season winds down.

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IN A SKID: Avis Budget Group slumped 6.8% to $31.13 after the vehicle rental company cut its guidance following a weak second quarter. The major index futures are now pointing to a lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 48 points.

Blue Apron slumped 17.6 percent after the meal kit seller reported a sequential decline in customers in the second quarter due to a planned reduction in marketing. The trend appeared to overshadow strong quarterly revenue growth in the quarter. The stock lost $5.07 to $101.91.

The spot gold price was up 0.7% at $1,286.07 per ounce by 2pm GMT, after hitting an earlier high of $1,286.40, its highest level since June 8.

The U.S. Treasury market rallied, with the benchmark 10-year yield shedding 3 bps to 2.21%. The kiwi later retraced some gains and last stood at $0.7350, staying above Wednesday's three-week low of $0.7309.

Oil prices rose after a report showed US refineries processed record amounts of crude in the latest week, eating into inventories. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, gained 56 cents to $52.70 in London.

As for other precious metals, silver for September delivery added 47.4 cents, or 2.89 percent, to close at 16.863 dollars per ounce. Copper fell 2 cents to $2.93 a pound.

CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 109.93 yen from Tuesday's 110.34. The euro slid to $1.1732 from $1.1752.

The Philippine central bank will also make its monetary policy decision later in the day. Britain's FTSE 100 sank 1.4 percent. Australia bucked the trend with a 0.4% gain.

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