Stock Futures Turn Mixed but North Korea Threat Keeps Pressure on

Updated from 8:53 a.m. ET, Friday, Aug. 11. 

Stock futures were trading mixed on Friday, Aug. 11, though concerns over North Korea and President Donald Trump kept global markets on edge.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 0.03%, S&P 500 futures gained 0.09%, and Nasdaq futures were flat. The S&P 500 logged its worst daily performance since May 17 on Thursday, Aug. 10. 

Global markets have been on edge for the bulk of the week after Trump warned North Korea of severe retribution should the authoritarian state proceed with any more missile tests or threats. Trump said that further threats would be met with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” He doubled down on those remarks on Thursday, suggesting that perhaps his rhetoric was not harsh enough.

In a Friday morning tweet, Trump wrote, “Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong-un will find another path!”

Trump’s threats have escalated since reports broke at the beginning of the week that North Korea had successfully produced a nuclear warhead that could be fitted inside its missiles. The U.N. Security Council unanimously voted on Saturday, Aug. 5,  to impose new sanctions on North Korea after several missile tests.

North Korea have since threatened to launch missiles at the U.S. territory of Guam. The country previously threatened a further “all-out war, wiping out all the strongholds of enemies, including the U.S. mainland” in a government statement.

“In all likelihood the North Korea problem will persist for years to come, with the U.S, and increasingly China, attempting to contain and restrain Kim Jong-un,” said Tom Elliott, international investment strategist at deVere Group. “He knows that any use of missiles — nuclear-tipped or not — against the U.S or one of its Asian allies, risks a retaliation that will lead to the end of his family’s rule of the country. Therefore, there is a high probability that the current tension will ease off, and the recent flight into defensive stocks will reverse.”

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