Pres. Trump doubled down this afternoon on his earlier "fire and fury" warning to North Korea, saying his earlier statement may not have been tough enough; stocks followed by sinking to their lows of the day.
"Henkel's Beauty has underperformed peers for several years and given the results this morning, this trend looks set to continue - at least over the near-term", said Investec analyst Eddy Hargreaves in a note.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index fell 143.08 points to 15,074.25, with almost all of its sectors moving lower.
The Chicago Board Options Exchange's Volatility Index, considered one of the best gauges of fear in the market, hit its highest level since May on Thursday.
The last time the S&P 500 fell over 1 percent was on May. 17. The Nasdaq added 39.68 points, or 0.6 percent, to 6,256.56.
Despite the past week's decline, the major indexes are in positive territory so far this year, led by the Nasdaq, which is up 16.2 percent.
Shares of Kohl's were down 8.4%, while Macy's fell 4% after the department store operators reported a fall in sales. Pan American Silver Corp, which reported second quarter results, rallied 11.8 percent to C$22.69. Bond and gold prices, traditional havens for nervous investors, were little changed, and the VIX, a measure of how much volatility investors expect in stocks, fell 3.3 percent following a 44.4 percent jump the day before. Wall Street was poised for a soft opening with S&P futures and Dow futures both down 0.2 percent.
THE QUOTE: "Inflation - or lack of -- has been an ongoing problem for the central bank and some policy makers have voiced concerns about this in recent months as they consider whether to raise interest rates again this year", said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA. "Every August we have some reason to run up the alarm", Kenny said.
US DATA: The other potential driver in markets will be upcoming USA economic data, including monthly inflation figures, which could go a long way to determining expectations for the pace at which the Federal Reserve raises interest rates.
And Blue Apron shares dipped after its first earnings report as a public company.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 2,461 to 444. Equity benchmarks in Germany and France on Wednesday fell by more than 1% each, marking their worst sessions since July 21.