Gold steady near 2-mth highs as N. Korea tensions continue

A batch of disappointing company earnings also helped pull the market lower, with consumer-focused companies and technology stocks among the biggest decliners.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 14 points, a gain of 0.07 percent, the Nasdaq composite rose almost 40 points or 0.64 percent and the S&P 500 gained 3 points or 0.13 percent.

The Nasdaq Composite lost 0.2 percent, to 6,370.46.

At 10:57 a.m. ET (1457 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 54.38 points, or 0.25 percent, at 21,898.39, the S&P 500 was up 8.69 points, or 0.35 percent, at 2,446.90.

US crude was unchanged at $48.59 per barrel and Brent was last at $51.84, down 1.63 percent on the day.

This week's increase in tension between North Korea and the US over North Korea's nuclear missile programme is a timely warning for investors to remain diversified, affirms a leading analyst.

Excluding food and energy prices, core consumer prices still crept up by 0.1 percent in July, matching the increases seen in the three previous months. But some economists say the Fed may stand pat for the rest of 2017 unless inflation accelerates in coming months.

Global stock markets ended their worst week in months amid rising tensions between the US and North Korea, though USA stock indexes steadied on Friday to close up slightly.

US President Donald Trump ratcheted up tensions with North Korea Friday, saying the military is "locked and loaded" to deal with North Korea's provocations.

There were fewer signs of anxiousness in the markets Friday.

"Risk aversion is once again the name of the game on Thursday, as geopolitical tensions mount and investors head for cover in the traditional safe havens". It's still the highest it's been since May. KLA-Tencor gained $2.62, or 3 percent, to $90.17. Investor ValueAct disclosed that it had acquired a 7.2 percent stake in the digital storage company. Seagate shares rose 74 cents to $32.29. The stock was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 lost 1.11 percent. It also raised its outlook. The stock lost $2.80 to $9.04.

USA stock futures were pointing to a weaker open on Friday.

Shares in several other big media companies also declined.

The negative headlines provided many investors with an opportunity to pocket some of their recent gains following a string of record highs fueled by strong corporate earnings. Brighthouse Financial shed $1.05, or 1.8 percent, to $57.45.

In commodities trading, U.S. crude oil was wallowing around $49 to the barrel amid speculation that a predicted gain in American output will offset OPEC-led efforts to trim a global glut.

Gold for December delivery GCZ7, +0.93% rose $11.60, or 0.9%, to $1,290.90 an ounce. The contract fell 97 cents, or 2 percent, to close at $48.59 a barrel on Thursday. Humana rose $4.74, or 1.9 percent, to $254.96.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher.

The greenback also came under pressure after New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley cautioned it would "take some time" for USA inflation to reach the bank's two percent target, the latest warning price pressures remain muted.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: Major indexes in Europe slumped.

For the week, the Dow is on track to fall 0.9%, its biggest one-week drop since April. Britain's FTSE 100 sank 1.4 percent. The NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index plunged by 3.4% to its lowest closing level in well over a month. Earlier in Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped less than 0.1 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 1.1 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.2 percent.

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