Wednesday August 9th


US stock futures fall on North Korea tensions, Disney drop to drag down Dow

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Wednesday after the release of more corporate quarterly results. Wall Street also focuses on rising geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 48 points as Disney shares declined more than 5 percent. The media giant's stock took a hit after the company posted mixed quarterly results. Shares of Disney were set to shave off about 35 points from the Dow. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures declined 11 points and 42.5 points, respectively. As the trading week meets the halfway mark, investors are gearing up for another set of big brands to report their latest earnings. Mylan Labs and Wendy's were among the companies that reported earnings before the bell Wednesday. 21st Century Fox will be among the companies set to publish earnings after the bell. On the data front, productivity in the second quarter rose 0.9 percent, more than the expected gain of 0.7 percent. Mortgage applications rose by 3 percent last week, boosted by a drop in rates. Wholesale trade data are due at 10 a.m. ET. In the political sphere, investors will be keeping a close eye on the rising tensions between North Korea and the U.S. on Wednesday. On Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump warned the Asian country about facing "fire and fury" if North Korea delivers more threats against the U.S. Shortly after this announcement, North Korea said it was "carefully examining" the idea of a missile strike on Guam, a U.S. Pacific territory, Reuters reported citing the North's state-run KCNA. In Europe, stocks were trading in the red, while Asia markets finished trade in negative territory. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.29 percent, or 257.3 points, to close at 19,738.71, and South Korea's Kospi declined 1.1 percent, or 26.34 points, to finish the session at 2,368.39. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was off 0.25 percent by 3:02 p.m. HK/SIN. Mainland markets closed mixed: the Shanghai Composite slipped 0.19 percent, or 6.2998 points, to end at 3,275.5730, while the Shenzhen Composite reversed earlier losses to climb 0.34 percent, or 6.3887 points, finishing the session at 1,885.5534. The Singapore market was closed for the National Day public holiday. Oil prices rose on Wednesday ahead of a report expected to show U.S. crude stockpiles dropped for a sixth week, although gains were capped by doubts about compliance with OPEC-led supply cuts. Brent crude, the global benchmark, was up 33 cents at $52.47 at 7:57 a.m. ET (1157 GMT), after two days of decline. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude added 28 cents at $49.45. Gold rose on Wednesday after North Korea said it is 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". Spot gold rose 1.14 percent to $1,274.66 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures for December delivery rose 1.44 percent to $1,280.80 per ounce.