US stocks indexes were higher in afternoon trading on Friday, on track to snap a three-day losing streak, as tepid inflation data brought back investors to riskier assets, despite heightened tensions between the United States and North Korea.
The utilities index, often seen as a bond proxy because of its companies' slow reliable growth and high dividends, was the only S&P sector that ended the day up, showing a 0.25 percent gain.
"European shares are. continuing their slide on the back of ever more increasing tensions between North Korea and the United States", added analyst Markus Huber at City of London Markets.
-Dixons Carphone Plc tumbled 8.8 percent, headed for its lowest closing price since October 2013, after an analyst recommended selling the shares due to concerns about the mobile market.
Macy's shares closed down 10.2 percent and Kohl's fell nearly 6 percent as the companies continued to report a drop in quarterly same-store sales, stoking concerns that their turnarounds may still be a long way off. The Dow slid 0.2 percent to 22,085.34.
A statement from the North Korean military called President Donald Trump's warning that the communist nation would face "fire and fury" if it continued its provocations a "load of nonsense".
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The Nasdaq composite lost 18.13 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,352.33. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.23 percent from 2.26 percent late Tuesday.
J.C. Penney slumped 24.4 percent to a record low after the retailer reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss.
Charter Communications rose 2.9 percent on news Altice is exploring a bid for the cable giant. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index plunged by 2 percent, while South Korea's Kospi Index slumped by 1.7 percent. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, gave up 29 cents to $51.85 in London. On the Nasdaq, 1 685 issues fell and 615 advanced favoring decliners. Silver gained 20 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $17.07 an ounce.
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 24 cents to $48.37 per barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, used to price global oils, declined 20 cents to $51.70 per barrel in London. Copper fell 2 cents to $2.93 a pound.
Sterling was also down 0.1% versus the euro at 1.104.
In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline was little changed at $1.62 a gallon, heating oil rose 2 cents to $1.65 a gallon and natural gas rose 6 cents to $2.88 per 1,000 cubic feet.