In Europe, the pan-continental STOXX 600 index fell 0.9 percent, with falls deepening after a auto rammed a group of soldiers in Paris, injuring six, in what officials said was a suspected terrorist attack.
Oil prices settled lower after a volatile session on increasing exports from key OPEC producers and news of lower crude shipments from Saudi Arabia.
Stocks going ex-dividend included BT, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Lloyds, and pharma companies GSK and AstraZeneca, taking around 41 points off the index.
10-Year Treasury Yield 2.24% -0.01%.
"I$3 t does appear to this economist that there is an acute shortage of cool heads at the top of the pyramids in both the United States and North Korea right now", Carl Weinberg of High Frequency Economics wrote in a note.
After touching a more than two-month high, spot gold last added 0.1 percent to $1,287.18 an ounce.
Gold was the big victor Wednesday as stocks pared back to moderate losses and Walt Disney (DIS) dragged on the Dow, while Netflix (NFLX) and Priceline Group (PCLN) hindered the Nasdaq and retailers took some brutal hits after reporting second-quarter results.
Investors will also be keeping an eye out on retail results as second-quarter earning season winds down.
Missile incoming? Head underground, Guam tells residents
There are also two large American naval bases in Japan - Saseba and Yokosuka - that harbor over 20 U.S. A boy plays near the World War II remnants of a torpedo at Asan Memorial Park on the island of Guam.
"Therefore, there is a high probability that the current tension will ease off, and the recent flight into defensive stocks will reverse".
The VIX, a measure of Wall Street volatility, spiked more than 30% Thursday.
USA crude fell 0.41 percent to $48.39 per barrel and Brent was last at $51.68, down 0.42 percent on the day.
Michael Kors climbed 21.5 percent after the luxury handbag and apparel designer and retailer's latest quarterly results beat analysts' forecasts as sales improved.
The technology sector .SPLRCT was the S&P's biggest drag with a 2.2 per cent drop. It was on course for an over 5% weekly rise, the highest such gain since July 2016. Seagate shares rose 74 cents to $32.29. It was last up 1.2 percent at 1.1305 per euro.
United States gold futures for December delivery was mostly unchanged at $1,290.50 per ounce. US gold futures GCcv1 gained 0.09 percent to $1,265.80 an ounce.
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%. But Michael said the overall market was still expected to saw-tooth its way higher due in part to a batch of better-than-expected earnings and low interest rates, despite the shift toward raising rates.
South Korea's KOSPI fell 1.8 per cent to an 11-1/2-week low, but its losses for the week are a relatively modest 3.2 per cent.
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