David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: "European stocks have suffered greatly today as traders were prompted to cut-and-run due to the escalating tensions between the U.S. and North Korea". That threat followed President Donald Trump's remarks on Tuesday that any North Korean threat to the United States would be met with "fire and fury".
The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 5.99 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,474.92. Eastern. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.1%, to 22,130.
The Nasdaq Composite was down 44.19 points, or 0.69 percent, at 6,326.27.
Wall Street stocks fell for the second straight session Wednesday as worries about US-North Korea tensions rattled investors.
"It looks like it was used as a good excuse to adjust positions", he said, referring to the heightened tensions between the United States and North Korea.
"Gold, one of the first ports of call in times of investor anxiety, is now trading 0.56% higher at US$1268/oz", he said.
Of course, this could end up being a flash in the pan, so we don't think that fund managers and traders are going to rush into changing their portfolio allocations just yet, they will want to see how things play out in the coming days.
HIGH ON TECH: Gains among chipmakers and digital storage companies helped lift technology-sector stocks.
The drop by Disney came after the company reported fiscal third quarter earnings that came in above estimates but on weaker than expected revenues. But it was up 10 percent in 250 days.
MEDIA MALAISE: Shares in several other big media companies were down. The stock jumped, up 21.6 percent as of 3.40pm, after the maker of luxury handbags and apparel posted results that exceed expectations. Viacom slid 93 cents, or 3 percent, to $29.84.
Chargers and Rams brawl as 'Fight for LA' begins in earnest
Apparently the Chargers even got into it with some vocal Rams fans who were heckling them from the sideline. Things got so testy that both head coaches agreed to end the practice.
Korea "provocation" strike on Guam
Since then he has launched foreign bureaus for CNSNews.com in Jerusalem, London and the Pacific Rim. The Pacific island of Guam remained calm a day after the apocalyptic threats from Korea.
Pundit explains why Bale deal to United is still possible
Zinedine Zidane's men claimed UEFA Super Cup glory in Skopje thanks to goals from Casemiro and Isco, with Lukaku netting just after the hour to reduce the deficit.
After the bell, Twenty-First Century Fox shares were up 0.7 per cent following the release of its results.
TIME OUT: Fossil tumbled 23.7 percent after the watch maker said sales continued to weaken, falling short of analysts' estimates. The stock lost $2.81 to $9.03.
Shares rose more than 1.3% or 4.9p to 388.5p.
GOT A PULSE: Health care stocks, which have been in a slump, were headed higher.
Offsetting the declines was a 0.4 percent gain by the materials group, which includes gold producers. Major indexes in Asia closed lower.
The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.7% at closing, France's CAC 40 fell 1.4% after a vehicle hit a group of soldiers in Paris in what is thought to have been a deliberate act, and a fall in bond yields saw Germany's DAX down 1.1%.
The Nasdaq is up 0.77 points, or 0.01 percent.
BONDS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.28 percent from 2.26 percent late Monday.
The dollar edged up about 0.1 percent to 110.16 yen, up from Wednesday's low of 109.56 yen, which was the dollar's lowest level since June 15. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, gave up 22 cents to $51.92 in London. Natural gas gained 2 cents to $2.82 per 1,000 cubic feet.
At noon, the dollar fetched 109.88-89 yen compared with 110.26-36 yen in NY and 110.58-60 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Tuesday. The euro edged down to $1.1726 from $1.1751.