Wall St. Lower as Investors Weigh Rising N. Korea Tensions

Dow Jones Industrial Average

At the close of trading in NY, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 33.08 points, or 0.15%, to 22,085.34. The Nasdaq composite added 25 points, or 0.4 percent, to 6,408.

USA stock indexes looked set to open lower on Wednesday as investors shunned risky assets following escalating tensions between North Korea and the United States.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) ended its streak of record highs today, finishing lower for a second session after dismal Disney earnings and amid building tension with North Korea.

FED WATCH: Investors looked ahead to an appearance Thursday by Bill Dudley, president of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of NY, for signs of the Fed's outlook on the economy.

The weakness on Wall Street reflects geopolitical concerns amid a continued increase in tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. The S&P 500 closed 0.24% lower at 2,474.92, with materials leading decliners.

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North Korea said it was considering an attack on the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam just hours after President Donald Trump warned Pyongyang that any threat to the U.S. would be met with "fire and fury".

After a dip of as much as 0.52 percent earlier in the day, investors appeared to take some comfort in Tillerson's comments, said Richard Steinberg, managing director at HighTower Advisors in NY. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks ticked up 0.2% to 1,416. Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman and the Dow Jones U.S. defense index .DJUSDN was up 1.48 percent after hitting a record high.

Ten out of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors ended lower after the comments with the only gains seen in the utilities sector .SPLRCU , which is seen as a bond proxy because of its slow but predictable growth and dividends. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index tumbled by 1.3%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell by 0.4%. Energy stocks fell along with crude prices as investors kept an eye on the latest company earnings and geopolitical news. The Dow slid 0.2 percent to 22,085.34. The euro edged down to $1.1726 from $1.1751. Brent crude, the worldwide standard, lost 28 cents to $52.09 a barrel in London.

Markets in Canada's largest centre were set to follow global markets lower on Wednesday as investors held back from betting on riskier assets amid escalating North Korea tensions. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 5.8 basis points at 2.225 percent.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index advanced 0.2%.

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