Wall Street opens flat as North Korea tensions fade

Wall Street opens flat as North Korea tensions fade Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 14, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Sruthi Shankar

(Reuters) – U.S. stocks opened flat on Tuesday after North Korea’s leader delayed a decision on firing missiles towards Guam, pointing to receding tensions between the United States and North Korea.

Pyongyang’s plans to fire missiles near the U.S. Pacific territory prompted a surge in tensions in the region last week, with President Donald Trump saying the U.S. military was “locked and loaded” if North Korea acted unwisely.

“I think it is a bit of a follow through on North Korea that has stepped back, things are back to somewhat normal”, said Mark Spellman, portfolio manager at Alpine Funds in New York.

“U.S. companies and the markets have also been benefiting from the global economic expansion. For the first time in many years, you’ve got a lot of economies through out the world doing better,” Spellman added.

At 9:42 a.m. ET (1342 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> was up 29.01 points, or 0.13 percent, at 22,022.72, the S&P 500 <.SPX> was up 1.17 points, or 0.05 percent, at 2,467.01.

The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> was up 1.12 points, or 0.02 percent, at 6,341.35.

Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with telecom sector’s <.SPLRCL> 0.70 percent fall leading the decliners.

Data showed U.S. retail sales recorded their biggest increase in seven months in July as consumers boosted purchases of motor vehicles as well as discretionary spending.

The data helped the dollar touch its highest level against a basket of major currencies <.DXY> in nearly three weeks.

Among stocks, Home Depot <HD.N> was down 2.6 percent, despite the U.S. home improvement chain reporting quarterly profit and comparable sales that topped estimates. The stock weighed the most on the Dow and the S&P 500.

Coach <COH.N> was off more than 6 percent after the handbag maker issued full-year sales forecast that missed analysts’ estimates.

Dick’s Sporting Goods <DKS.N> hit near seven-year lows after the sportswear retailer’s quarterly same-store sales and profit missed estimates.

Advance Auto Parts <AAP.N> touched near four-year low after the company lowered its 2017 comparable store sales forecast.

Synchrony Financial <SYF.N> rose 3.4 percent after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway <BRKa.N> said it had added a 17.5-million share stake in the credit card issuer.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,432 to 1,122. On the Nasdaq, 1,354 issues fell and 1,001.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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