Stocks May Regain Ground In Early Trading

Following the sell-off seen in the previous session, stocks may regain some ground in early trading on Friday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a modestly higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 21 points.

The markets may benefit from bargain hunting, as some traders look to pick up stocks at reduced levels following the pullback seen over the past few sessions.

Buying interest may be somewhat subdued, however, as the ever-escalating war of words between President Donald Trump and North Korea continues to raise geopolitical concerns.

Trump suggested in remarks on Thursday that his comments threatening North Korea with “fire and fury” may not have been tough enough.

“I will tell you this, North Korea better get their act together or they’re going to be in trouble like few nations ever have been in trouble in this world,” Trump said.

Trump continued to ramp up the rhetoric with a post on Twitter this morning indicating that the U.S. is prepared to take military action against North Korea.

“Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!” Trump tweeted.

North Korea responded with a statement by its official KCNA news agency claiming Trump is “driving the situation on the Korean peninsula to the brink of a nuclear war.”

On the U.S. economic front, a report released by the Labor Department showed a modest uptick in consumer prices in the U.S. in the month of July.

The Labor Department said its consumer price index inched up by 0.1 percent in July after coming in unchanged in June. Economists had expected prices to rise by 0.2 percent.

Excluding food and energy prices, core consumer prices still crept up by 0.1 percent in July, matching the increases seen in the three previous months. Core prices had also been expected to climb by 0.2 percent.

Adding to the modest losses posted in the two previous sessions, stocks moved sharply lower over the course of the trading day on Thursday. With the sell-off on the day, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 fell to their lowest closing levels in a month.

The major averages ended the session just off their worst levels of the day. The Dow slumped 204.69 points or 0.9 percent to 21,844.01, the Nasdaq plummeted 135.46 points or 2.1 percent to 6,216.87 and the S&P 500 tumbled 35.81 points or 1.5 percent to 2,438.21.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region saw continued weakness during trading…

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