Stocks Slip Amid US-North Korea Tension

(AP) -- U.S. stocks moved slightly lower in midday trading Wednesday as investors weighed the growing tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. Disappointing company earnings also helped pull the market lower, with financial and consumer-focused companies outweighing gains among health care stocks.

Wall Street's downbeat start followed a slide in major stock indexes in Europe and Asia. Gold and bond prices were headed higher.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 3 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,471 as of 12:16 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 52 points, or 0.2 percent, to 22,032. The Nasdaq composite lost 20 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,349. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 8 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,401.

KOREA JITTERS: With President Donald Trump warning North Korea of "fire and fury," investors have become concerned that the war of words between Washington and Pyongyang could escalate. Pyongyang said it was examining plans for attacking Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific with a military base. The comments follow reports that the North has mastered a technology needed to strike the United States with a nuclear missile.

THE QUOTE: While the tough talk about the potential for war is scary, investors have heard it many times before. The hope, and perhaps the expectation, is that this latest round of rhetoric will also turn out to be just talk, said Brian Jacobsen, chief portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management.

"We've seen this play before, and it usually plays out where it just goes back to the status quo," Jacobsen said. "I have a feeling that by the end of the week, we'll feel this was just another blip on the radar."

MOUSE HOUSE: Disney dropped 3.8 percent a day after the media giant reported a weak quarter and said it would pull its movies from Netflix and start two of its own video streaming services. The stock lost $4.08 to $102.90. Netflix also fell, giving up $3.19, or 1.8 percent, to $175.17.

BAD TRIPS: Priceline Group slid 7.6 percent after the online travel booking service issued a profit forecast that was weaker than analysts were expecting. The stock was the biggest decliner in the S&P 500, losing $155 to $1,893.99. Rival TripAdvisor also slumped after its latest quarterly report showed that online and transaction revenue growth fell sharply. TripAdvisor shares shed $1.75, or 4.4 percent, to $37.80.

TIME OUT: Fossil tumbled 20.8 percent after the watch maker said sales continued to weaken, falling short of analysts' estimates. The company booked a hefty charge and said its CFO is leaving the company. The stock lost $2.46 to $9.38.

LACKLUSTER QUARTER: Office Depot sank 22.4 percent after the office supply company's second-quarter results fell short of Wall Street's projections. The stock shed $1.37 to $4.74.

GOT A PULSE: Health care stocks, which have been in a slump, were headed higher. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals led the pack, adding $6.99, or 1.5 percent, to $476.67. Humana rose $3.41, or 1.4 percent, to $253.63.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany's DAX was down 1.1 percent, while France's CAC 40 fell 1.4 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 0.6 percent lower. Major indexes in Asia closed lower. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 tumbled 1.3 percent, while Seoul's Kospi fell 1.1 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was off 0.3 percent.

BONDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.23 percent from 2.26 percent late Tuesday.

METALS: Gold, a traditional safe haven play, was moving higher. It rose $16, or 1.3 percent, to $1,278.60 an ounce. Silver also rose, gaining 47 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $16.86 an ounce.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude added 7 cents to $49.24 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 16 cents to $52.30 in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 109.97 yen from 110.48 yen late Tuesday. The euro slid to $1.1742 from $1.1752.