Technology companies were leading a broad slide in U.S. stocks in early trading Thursday as investors pored over the latest batch of corporate earnings reports. Banks and retail chains were also among the big decliners. Simmering tensions between the U.S. and North Korea were also weighing on the market. Oil prices were headed higher.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 20 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,453 as of 10:09 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 120 points, or 0.5 percent, to 21,928. The Nasdaq composite lost 76 points, or 1.2 percent, to 6,275. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 6 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,390.
SIMMERING TENSIONS: North Korea revealed on Thursday a detailed plan to launch a salvo of ballistic missiles toward the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, a major military hub and home to U.S. bombers. Japan and South Korea vowed a strong reaction if the North were to go through with the plan. The move added to escalating U.S.-North Korea tensions.
TECH SLIDE: Losses among technology stocks led the market slide. Alliance Data Systems fell $6.28, or 2.7 percent, to $225.64. Broadcom gave up $5.72, or 2.3 percent, to $243.45.
FINANCIALS FALLING: Several financial sector companies also helped pull down the market. MetLife fell 75 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $47.56, while Charles Schwab slid 69 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $41.33.
RETAIL SLUMP: Disappointing quarterly results from big department store chains put investors in a selling mood. Macy's was down 4.4 percent after the company said its sales continued to decline in the second quarter. The stock fell $1.01 to $22.02. Dillard's slumped 15.5 percent after the chain booked a loss for the second quarter as increased inventory led to big discounts. Its shares tumbled $11.35 to $61.99. Kohl's also declined, sliding $3.62, or 8.6 percent, to $38.31.
BONDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.21 percent from 2.25 percent late Wednesday.
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 13 cents to $49.69 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It added 39 cents to $49.56 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 21 cents to $52.91.
CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 109.48 yen from 109.85 late Wednesday. The euro fell to $1.1735 from $1.1752.
MARKETS OVERSEAS: Major indexes in Europe were headed lower. Germany's DAX fell 0.9 percent, while the CAC 40 in France lost 0.5 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 sank 1.3 percent. Earlier in Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped less than 0.1 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 1.1 percent. South Korea's Kospi fell 0.5 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged down nearly 0.1 percent.