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Dow futures fall 109 points as North Korea jitters return to haunt Wall Street

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a sharply lower open on Tuesday, as geopolitical concerns surrounding North Korea and the West were amplified, following news that a missile had passed over Japan.

Dow Jones industrial average fell 109 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures declined 13.25 points and 46.25 points, respectively.

In recent weeks, concerns around North Korea have subsided as tensions appeared to have eased between the country and the West.

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

On Tuesday however, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters that a ballistic missile which was fired by North Korea had passed over Japan. Abe has since stated that the missile posed a grave threat to the country of Japan, and that he would ask the United Nations to ramp up the pressure on Pyongyang.

Markets worldwide showed signs of nervousness, with investors turning to safe-haven assets. Markets in Asia and Europe fell into the red on the back of the geopolitical news.

Aside from North Korea, domestic politics will be of key importance as President Donald Trump heads to Texas on Tuesday amidst the flooding that is causing chaos in Houston.

Investors will also be looking for how the U.S. incumbent will respond to recent reports about his presidency and how he will handle North Korea.

Investors in the U.S. are likely to keeping note of how much of an impact Hurricane Harvey will have on the energy sector, as well as other businesses such as insurance, after several businesses and refineries had to temporarily shut due to the natural disaster.

In early morning trade however, oil prices fluctuated between gains and losses, supported by reports of supply disruptions in Colombia and Libya. At 8:31 a.m. ET, U.S. crude was slightly up at around $46.65 per barrel, while Brent was lasting standing around $51.97.

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In data news, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index is due out at 9 a.m. ET, followed by consumer confidence and the Dallas Fed's Texas Service Sector Outlook Survey, set to come out at 10 a.m. ET and 10:30 a.m. ET respectively.

—CNBC's Christine Wang contributed to this report.

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