Gold Climbs to Near Two-Month High

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US stock index futures were lower on Thursday as investors remained cautious in the face of continuing tensions between the United States and North Korea.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 30 points, or 1.2 percent, to 2,443 as of 3:25 p.m.

We are anticipating the Dow Jones to open 48 points lower at 22,000 and we are calling the S&P 500down 9 at 2465. Earlier, the average had been down more than 88 points.

Globally, gold rose by 0.09 percent to Dollars 1,278 an ounce and silver by 0.44 percent to USD 16.99 in Singapore. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 10 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,399.

"The by-product of quantitative easing, combined with ultra-low interest rate policies, has been the dampening down of volatility", Kelso said, adding that an increase in volatility spikes was likely in the future.

But the Guam Daily Post said in an editorial that although the island's residents were used to North Korea's threats, the situation was more precarious today because "a feisty, not-so-cool-headed commander-in-chief lives in the White House now".

GOT A PULSE: Health care stocks, which have been in a slump, were headed higher.

The dollar rose against a trade-weighted basket of currencies on Thursday as investors consolidated positions with the low-yielding Swiss franc and Japanese yen supported amid deepending anxiety over tensions between the United States and North Korea.

Stocks across Europe and throughout Asia fell Wednesday after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made an explicit threat of to strike a USA military base in Guam (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/north-korea-threatens-missile-strike-on-us-base-on-guam-2017-08-08).

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On Wednesday the North Korean state-run media agency, KCNA, released a statement saying the communist nation would complete its plan to attack waters near Guam within just a week, adding that the action against Guam would be "an effective remedy for restraining the frantic moves of the U.S.in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and its vicinity".

Overall, gold continued to edge higher to the $1,280 per ounce area in European trading.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 5/32 in price to yield 2.2255%, from 2.242% late on Wednesday.

THE QUOTE: While the tough talk about the potential for war is scary, investors have heard it many times before.

The latest US CPI data will also be an important market focus on Friday and there will be a constant threat of choppy trading conditions given a lack of liquidity. "We have no choice but to acknowledge the risks, and to report that financial markets are reacting to them".

Options traders gear up for Snap's second earnings report as a public company.

Priceline Group dropped 8 percent after issuing a profit forecast that was weaker than analysts were expecting.

Disney shares were down 4.8 percent as investors were skeptical of its plan to launch streaming services rather than rely on Netflix.

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