The moves come after President Trump ratcheted up the war of words with Kim Jong Un's regime, saying it will "face fire and fury like the world has never seen" if it keeps threatening the United States.
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.
Yields on German 10-year bonds - the bloc's benchmark which has the top Triple-A rank by all three ratings firms - fell 2 basis points to 0.456 percent.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 11.11) gained 0.2 point, or 1.4%.
Gold prices turned higher after unease over North Korea, reversing the downward move after the jobs data lifted the dollar.
The price of crude oil jumped to 49.56 per barrel, climbing about 0.8 percent.
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema disagrees with UCLA QB Josh Rosen
Cost of living gives college athletes stipends each year to cover everyday expenses during the school year. "They just don't. Jones is entering his first season with the Bolts after being traded from the Buffalo Bills a year after they drafted him.
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree also spoke out, calling President Trump's comments "extreme rhetoric", and saying his threats of "fire and fury" endanger Americans at home and overseas. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.6 percent to 27,854.91, while the Shanghai Composite inched up almost 0.1 percent, to 3,281.87.
USA job openings jumped to a record high in June, outpacing hiring, the latest indication that companies are having trouble finding qualified workers. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.22 percent from 2.26 percent late Tuesday. Netflix also fell, giving up $4.57, or 2.6 percent, to $173.79. The Swiss franc, another currency that has the same safe-haven appeal as the yen in times of geopolitical anxiety, strengthened with the dollar falling to 0.9688 francs.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is lower at midday, due to heightened tensions with North Korea and a dismal earnings reaction from Dow stock Disney.
Other stock indexes also ended the day lower.
The euro fetched $1.1748, not far off from $1.1752 late Wednesday in NY.
Despite its recent weakening, the New Zealand dollar is still up more than 5 percent this year, setting a 26-month high of $0.7557 in July. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.2% to 6370.46 and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index slid 0.2% to 2474.92.
Spot gold added 0.2 percent to $1,260.26 an ounce.