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United States: Stocks May Open Lower Amid Geopolitical Concerns


Next ending the previous session modestly lower, stocks may see further downside in early trading on Friday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 38 points.

Geopolitical concerns may weigh on Wall Street amid an escalating war of words between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump.

In a statement circulated by national news agency KCNA, Kim described Trump's threat to " totally destroy" North Korea as "mentally deranged behavior."

Kim said Trump's remarks to the U.N. General Assembly before this week "makes even those with normal thinking faculty think about discretion and composure."

Trump responded to Kim's statement with a post on Twitter on Friday, calling the North Korean dictator a "madman."

"Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn't mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like at no time before!" Trump tweeted.

The back-and-forth between Trump and Kim comes as North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said his country may consider testing a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean.

Nonetheless, in general trading activity may be somewhat subdued amid a relatively quiet day on the U.S. economic front.

Part individual stocks, shares of Versartis (VSAR) are seeing substantial weakness in pre-market trading next the biopharmaceutical company said its experimental drug for the treatment of increase hormone deficiency in children did not meet its primary endpoint in a late-stage study.

Athletic shoe and apparel retailer Finish Line (FINL) may as well come under pressure next reporting better than expected second quarter earnings but lowering its full-year guidance.

On the other hand, shares of CarMax (KMX) may move to the upside next the used car dealership chain reported second quarter results that beat analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

Following the mixed performance seen on Wednesday, stocks saw modest weakness during trading on Thursday. With the drop on the day, the Dow and the S&P 500 pulled back off yesterday's record closing highs.

The major averages all ended the day in negative territory. The Dow dipped 53.36 points or 0.2 % to 22,359.23, the Nasdaq slid 33.35 points or 0.5 % to 6,422.69 and the S&P 500 fell 7.64 points or 0.3 % to 2,500.60.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index dropped by 0.3 %, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slumped by 0.8 %.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have turned mixed on the day. While the German DAX Index has dipped just below the unchanged line, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.1 % and the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.3 %.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are falling $0.21 to $50.34 a barrel next slipping $0.14 to $50.55 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, next plunging $21.60 to $1,294.80 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are rising $1.90 to $1,296.70 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 112.08 yen compared to the 112.48 yen it fetched from presently on of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1972 compared to yesterday's $1.1941.

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