By Sruthi Shankar
(Reuters) - U.S. indexes were set to open lower for the third straight day on Thursday as North Korea's threat to land a missile just short of the U.S. territory of Guam added fuel to simmering tensions with the United States.
The nuclear-armed nation said it was finalizing plans to fire four intermediate-range missiles over Japan to land 18-25 miles from Guam.
The latest round of tensions began after U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned North Korea that it would face "fire and fury" if it threatened the United States.
"There seems to be a heightened fear of an escalation," said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.
With Japan and South Korea also warning North Korea, investors are taking a step back to see what is happening before chipping in back, Bakhos said.
Safe-havens assets such as gold, the Japanese yen and Swiss franc were again in favor. Gold hit a two-month high of $1,278 an ounce amid the nervousness. [GOL/]
U.S. stocks recovered temporarily late on Wednesday as investors appeared to brush off the geopolitical concerns following encouraging comments from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Oil prices were lifted by a sustained decline in inventories and as Saudi Arabia prepared to cut crude supplies to its prized Asian customers. [O/R]
Dow e-minis were down 56 points, or 0.25 percent, with 29,071 contracts changing hands at 8:36 a.m. ET (1236 GMT).
S&P 500 e-minis were down 10.25 points, or 0.41 percent, with 217,904 contracts traded.
Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 38.75 points, or 0.65 percent, on volume of 38,566 contracts.
Retail results are also on investors' mind as the second-quarter earning season winds down.
Shares of Kohl's were down 2.05 percent in premarket trading, while Macy's fell 0.91 percent after the department store operators reported a fall in sales.
Data showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, but the underlying trend remained consistent with a tightening labor market.
Separately, U.S. producer prices unexpectedly fell in July, recording their biggest drop in nearly a year, weighed down by declining costs for services and energy products.
Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley is set to speak later in the day and his comments will be parsed for clues regarding the future pace of interest rate hikes.
Perrigo surged 11.10 percent after the drugmaker raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast.
Blue Apron shares slumped 11.06 percent after the meal-kit delivery service provider reported a bigger-than-expected loss in its first quarterly report as a public company.
Twenty-First Century Fox Inc was up 2.87 percent following quarterly profit that beat estimates.
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)