Still, the S&P and the Dow were on track to post their biggest weekly loss in about five months and the Nasdaq on course to post its biggest weekly fall in about six weeks. The selling carried through Wednesday's premarket session, with USA stock futures falling slightly.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,474.02) lost 0.9 point, or 0.04%.
"We believe continued sabre-rattling between the two nuclear powers could take gold prices higher still".
The U.S. equity market is hovering near record levels and volume has been tepid following the onset of summer.
The dollar was further weighed down on Friday by the soft USA inflation data.
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Attorney General Jeff Sessions is adding his voice those who are condemning today's violence in Charlottesville , Virginia . The suspect driver, 20-year old James Alex Fields of OH , is in custody, having been arrested "moments" after the crash.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.9 percent to end at 21,844.01, the only close below 22,000 since breaking through that level for the first time August 2.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump warned North Korea of "fire and fury" in response to recent threats from Pyongyang, which said it was examining plans for attacking Guam, a US territory in the Pacific with a military base. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS closed 1.47 percent lower. Alliance Data Systems fell $6.28, or 2.7 percent, to $225.64.
"We would now be careful with a whiff of risk aversion in the air and, by extension, also stay away from shorts in the rates market", RBC's global macro strategist Peter Schaffrik said.
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. Netflix also fell, giving up $3.19, or 1.8 percent, to $175.17.
"Most investors will be completely out of their depth in making any assessment on the (North Korea) situation", said Koon Chow, emerging market FX strategist at fund manager UBP.
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Consumer-focused stocks, media companies and banks accounted for much of the market decline.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher.
Benchmark U.S. 10-year notes last rose 6/32 in price to yield 2.1905 percent, from 2.211 percent late on Thursday.
The price of gold also surged for the second day in a row as the December bullion contract advanced $10.80 U.S.to $1,290.10 U.S.an ounce.
On the currency front, the USA dollar is trading at 108.82 yen compared to the 109.20 yen it fetched at the close of NY trading on Thursday.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 109.97 yen from 110.48 yen late Tuesday. Brent crude, used to price global oils, rose 20 cents to $52.10 a barrel in London. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals led the pack, adding $6.99, or 1.5 percent, to $476.67.
Southeast Asia foreign ministers deliver message to North Korea: Let's talk
All 10 countries in ASEAN have diplomatic relations with North Korea, including five that have embassies in Pyongyang. The meeting is expected to be attended by 14 other ASEAN dialogue partners, including China, Russia and North Korea.
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