Stocks May Extend Pullback In Early Trading

Stocks may come under pressure in early trading on Thursday, extending the pullback seen over the two previous sessions. The major index futures are currently pointing to a lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 48 points.

Geopolitical concerns may continue to weigh on Wall Street amid a continued escalation in tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.

A statement from the North Korean military called President Donald Trump’s warning that the communist nation would face “fire and fury” if it continued its provocations a “load of nonsense.”

North Korea claimed “only absolute force” can work on someone as “bereft of reason” as Trump and detailed plans to fire a salvo of missiles into waters around the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

The rhetoric between the U.S. and North Korea has continued to heat up, leading traders to look to safe havens such as gold and treasuries.

The futures remained in the red following the release of a Labor Department report showing an unexpected drop in U.S. producer prices in the month of July.

The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand edged down by 0.1 percent in July after inching up by 0.1 percent in June. Economists had expected another 0.1 percent uptick.

Excluding food and energy prices, core producer prices still dipped by 0.1 percent in July after creeping up by 0.1 percent in June. Core prices had been expected to rise by 0.2 percent.

A separate report from the Labor Department showed an unexpected uptick in initial jobless claims in the week ended August 5th.

The report said initial jobless claims crept up to 244,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 241,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to come in unchanged compared to the 240,000 originally reported for the previous week.

After ending Tuesday’s trading modestly lower, stocks saw continued weakness during trading on Wednesday. Selling pressure was somewhat subdued, however, limiting the downside for the major averages.

The major averages climbed well off their worst levels of the day but still closed in the red. The Dow dipped 36.64 points or 0.2 percent to 22,048.70, the Nasdaq fell 18.13 points or 0.3 percent to 6,352.33 and the S&P 500 edged down 0.90 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 2,474.02.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region saw further downside during trading on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, while Hong Kong’s…

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