Dow streak of records ends amid US-North Korea tensions

US stock-index benchmarks opened slightly higher on Friday, but equities were on pace for its ugliest week in months amid intensifying rhetoric between the USA and North Korea.

Global stock markets have sunk further into the red after Donald Trump ratcheted up his fiery rhetoric over North Korea's nuclear threats.

In the first four days of the week, the Standard & Poor's 500 index swung from marking its latest record high to posting its biggest single-day drop in almost three months.

"Given the great run we've had, seems like some sort of pullback wouldn't be surprising", said Michael Baele, managing director of investments at U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management. "That did temporarily shake investors' complacency, but we think markets are ready to move higher in the back half of the year, and earnings and economic data are going to drive that".

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index fell 39.02 points, or 0.26 percent, to end at 15,217.33. The index had its biggest drop since mid-May a day earlier.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down 0.23%, S&P 500 futures fell 0.4%, and Nasdaq futures slid 0.66%.

The Dow slid as declines in shares of Apple and those of Goldman Sachs, recently down 2.3 percent and 1.7 percent respectively, outweighed gains in shares of McDonald's and those of Coca-Cola, recently up 1.4 percent and 0.5 percent respectively.

Travel website operator Priceline fell 6.54 percent, while travel-review website operator TripAdvisor was down 7.51 percent after both the companies issued disappointing forecasts.

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Positive sentiment was also generated by a report from the Labor Department showing a modest uptick in consumer prices in the month of July.

The Dow ended down 0.2% and the S&P 500 narrowed to a fractional loss.

The weakness on Wall Street reflects geopolitical concerns amid a continued increase in tensions between the USA and North Korea.

If the North Korean regime "does anything" to the USA or a United States ally "things will happen to them like they never thought possible", Trump told reporters on Thursday, according to Bloomberg.

North Korea responded to the threat with a warning of their own saying it was "carefully examining" the idea of a missile strike in Guam, a U.S. Pacific territory.

Still, there were fewer signs of anxiousness in the markets Friday. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, hit a one-month high before trading around 11.7. It's still the highest it's been since May. India's Sensex shed 0.5 percent to 31,846.73 and benchmarks in Taiwan and Southeast Asia declined.

Inflation has risen 1.7 percent over the past 12 months, suggesting inflation pressures remain well under control. They are looking for confirmation that the Fed is sticking with plans for a possible December interest rate hike.

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