US stocks close slightly lower after Disney earnings disappoint
US stocks have closed slightly lower after making up much of the ground they lost earlier following a rare batch of earnings disappointments by Walt Disney and other big companies.
Consumer-focused stocks, media companies and banks accounted for much of the market decline. They outweighed gains in healthcare stocks and elsewhere.
Small company stocks fell more than the rest of the market.
Investors' unease over escalating tensions between the US and North Korea had weighed on stocks earlier in the day, pushing gold and bond prices slightly higher.
But by the end of the day, traders appeared to take the geopolitical drama in their stride.
"Right now the market is viewing it as a lot of sabre-rattling and a lot of smoke, but not much fire," said Darrell Cronk, president of Wells Fargo Investment Institute.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 0.90 points, or 0.04%, to 2,474.02. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 36.64 points, or 0.2%, to 22,048.70. Earlier, the average had been down more than 88 points.
The Nasdaq composite lost 18.13 points, or 0.3%, to 6,352.33. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 13.20 points, or 0.9%, to 1,396.95. That is the index's lowest level in two months.
The stage was set for the US indexes to go lower early on Wednesday as investors around the world reacted to the rising war of words between the US and North Korea, pushing global market indexes lower.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump warned North Korea of "fire and fury" in response to recent threats from Pyongyang, which said it was examining plans for attacking Guam, a US territory in the Pacific with a military base.
Mr Trump's comments followed reports that the North has mastered a technology needed to strike the United States with a nuclear missile.
Investors reacted by driving up the price of gold and bonds, traditional safe-haven plays, but the moves were modest.
Bond prices rose while the yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.25% from 2.26% late on Tuesday.