Stocks May Open Lower Amid Geopolitical Concerns

After ending the previous session modestly lower, stocks may see further downside in early trading on Friday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 38 points.

Geopolitical concerns may weigh on Wall Street amid an escalating war of words between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump.

In a statement circulated by state news agency KCNA, Kim described Trump’s threat to “totally destroy” North Korea as “mentally deranged behavior.”

Kim said Trump’s remarks to the U.N. General Assembly earlier this week “makes even those with normal thinking faculty think about discretion and composure.”

Trump responded to Kim’s statement with a post on Twitter on Friday, calling the North Korean dictator a “madman.”

“Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn’t mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!” Trump tweeted.

The back-and-forth between Trump and Kim comes as North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said his country may consider testing a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean.

Nonetheless, overall trading activity may be somewhat subdued amid a relatively quiet day on the U.S. economic front.

Among individual stocks, shares of Versartis (VSAR) are seeing substantial weakness in pre-market trading after the biopharmaceutical company said its experimental drug for the treatment of growth hormone deficiency in children did not meet its primary endpoint in a late-stage study.

Athletic shoe and apparel retailer Finish Line (FINL) may also come under pressure after reporting better than expected second quarter earnings but lowering its full-year guidance.

On the other hand, shares of CarMax (KMX) may move to the upside after the used car dealership chain reported second quarter results that beat analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

Following the mixed performance seen on Wednesday, stocks saw modest weakness during trading on Thursday. With the drop on the day, the Dow and the S&P 500 pulled back off yesterday’s record closing highs.

The major averages all ended the day in negative territory. The Dow dipped 53.36 points or 0.2 percent to 22,359.23, the Nasdaq slid 33.35 points or 0.5 percent to 6,422.69 and the S&P 500 fell 7.64 points or 0.3 percent to 2,500.60.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index dropped by 0.3 percent, while…

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