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Overnight Markets: Wall Street gains as North Korea fears ebb

Wall Street pulled back from early losses and closed higher on Tuesday as Apple scaled a new all-time high and investors shook off concerns that hostilities in the Korean Peninsula could escalate.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 57 points, or 0.26%, to 21,865, the S&P 500 gained two points, or 0.08%, to 2,446 and the Nasdaq Composite added 19 points, or 0.3%, to 6,302.

Earlier during the day, the S&P 500 fell as much as 0.66% after US President Donald Trump warned that all options are on the table for the US to respond after North Korea fired a ballistic missile over a Japanese island in a new show of force.

Investors’ fears eased as the day went on with Trump’s focus on the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Harvey. The storm shuttered refineries across the US energy hub in Texas but energy shares were little changed.

Shares of insurers fell on uncertainty over their storm-related liabilities. An index of industry stocks dropped 0.5% to end at its lowest in two months.

Gains in the Nasdaq were led by the largest names, with Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon, all higher.

Apple’s shares hit an all-time peak of $163.12 before paring those gains slightly to end the day at $162.91 on the heels of reports that it is planning its latest product launch next month.

United Technologies, which is nearing a deal for aircraft component manufacturer Rockwell Collins, was a key driver for the Dow. The share rose 2.9%. Rockwell’s shares rose 2.1%.

Best Buy Co Inc (BBY.N) tumbled 11.9% after the No.1 US consumer electronics retailer warned its strong quarterly sales performance should not be seen as a new normal.

Nike (NKE.N) fell 1.9% after Morgan Stanley cut its price target by $4, to $64.

In Asia, share markets gained on Wednesday taking cue from Wall Street overnight as traders appeared to shake off new North Korea missile concerns.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 0.57%. Across the Korean strait, the Kospi edged up 0.09%. Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 was flat. Greater China markets trended higher. The Hang Seng Index rose 0.73%. Gains on the mainland were more subdued. The Shanghai Composite added 0.22% and the Shenzhen Composite tacked on 0.15%.

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