In Asia, most stock indexes were pressured as geopolitical tensions re-entered the spotlight on Wednesday and China consumer inflation missed expectations. Traders there were also digesting a rise in jobless claims and the biggest drop in producer prices in 11 months.
USA trading volume has been low with summer setting in and Congress expected to be in recess until September 5.
Dow e-minis were down 35 points, or 0.16 percent, with 37,467 contracts changing hands at 8:40 a.m. ET (1240 GMT). In China, the Shanghai Composite is down 0.7%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong is down 1.0%.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX – 2,474.02) lost 0.9 point, or 0.04%.
Shares fell in Asian and European trading after Pyongyang responded to the US president’s tough language with a threat to launch a nuclear strike on the US Pacific territory of Guam.
“What the President is doing is sending a strong message to North Korea in language that Kim Jong-un can understand, because he doesn’t seem to understand diplomatic language”, Tillerson said. US officials attempt to calm US-North Korea tension appeared to sedate anxious investors.
TECH SLIDE: Losses among technology stocks led the market slide.
Canadian Tire Corp Ltd rose 3.4 percent to C$146.65.
“Trump’s response was aggressive and that’s why the (stock) market turned lower”, said Ken Polcari, director of the NYSE floor division at O’Neil Securities.
Gold added $16.70, or 1.3 percent, to settle at $1,279.30 an ounce.
Shiseido shares soared 13.77 percent to 4,420 yen after the makeup company upgraded its annual sales and profit forecasts, and announced robust earnings for the January-June period.
Paris stocks endured a torrid session to end 1.4 per cent down after a suspected terror attack in France.
UNDERCOOKED: Blue Apron slumped 12.2 percent after the meal kit seller reported a sequential decline in customers in the second quarter due to a planned reduction in marketing. The stock lost $5.07 to $101.91.
Financial stocks underperformed after US Treasury yields fell as bond prices rose in a flight to safety by nervous investors.
Benchmark U.S. 10-year notes were last up 15/32 in price to yield 2.2281 percent, from 2.282 percent late on Tuesday.
USA crude rose 0.12 percent to $49.23 per barrel and Brent was last at $52.33, up 0.36 percent on the day.
In information released on Wednesday, US crude inventories fell for the sixth consecutive week according to the Energy Information Adminstration by 6.45 million barrels for the week ending August 4. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, gained 40 cents to $52.54 in London. Most Japanese companies expect the pair to trade between ¥108 to ¥110 this fiscal year.
“The geopolitical tensions have prompted a risk off trade amid investors”, said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets UK. Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.1 percent.