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US STOCKS-Wall St set to open flat after inflation data, N.Korea tensions
August 11, 2017 / 1:06 PM / 4 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set to open flat after inflation data, N.Korea tensions

* J.C. Penney plunges after bigger-than-expected loss

* Consumer price index up 0.1 pct in July vs est 0.2 pct

* Futures: Dow up 6 pts, S&P up 1.5 pts, Nasdaq off 1 pt (Adds details, comments, updates price)

By Sruthi Shankar

Aug 11 (Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes were set to open little changed on Friday, with the S&P 500 on track to post its biggest weekly loss in nine months, as investors remained cautious on heightened tensions between the United States and North Korea.

U.S. President Donald Trump, in his latest warning to North Korea, said military solutions were “fully in place” and referred to American weapons as being “locked and loaded” should the nuclear-armed nation act “unwisely”.

The tensions, since Trump made his “fire and fury” comments on Tuesday, have wiped out nearly $1 trillion from the global equity markets.

“The escalation of the geopolitical situation between the U.S. and North Korea is beginning to rattle investors’ nerves as was witnessed in the VIX index yesterday,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial.

“The overall ‘Fear Factor’ is the markets worst enemy that will feed on itself, leading to increased hedging.”

On Thursday, the CBOE Volatility Index, a barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, closed at its highest since the U.S. presidential election.

Helping offset the geopolitical tensions was weaker-than-expected consumer price data for July, pointing to benign inflation that could make the Federal Reserve cautious about raising interest rates again this year.

The Labor Department said its Consumer Price Index edged up 0.1 percent last month, which was below the 0.2 percent rise expected by economists polled by Reuters.

The data comes amid tepid inflation that has remained below the Fed’s 2 percent target, despite low unemployment.

Dow e-minis were up 6 points, or 0.03 percent, with 29,187 contracts changing hands at 8:34 a.m. ET (1234 GMT).

S&P 500 e-minis were up 1.5 points, or 0.06 percent, with 300,073 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 1 points, or 0.02 percent, on volume of 49,062 contracts.

Shares of Snap were off about 13 percent premarket following the social media company’s earnings that came below estimates and a slew of price target cuts.

J.C. Penney slumped 24.4 percent to a record low after the retailer reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss .

Nvidia’s quarterly revenue in its data center and automotive businesses missed estimates, dragging the chipmaker’s shares down 8.6 percent. Rival Advanced Micro Devices was also down 2.6 percent. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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