The plunged -204 points or -0.83% to close at 21,865. The S&P 500 gained 3.11 points, or 0.1%, to end at 2,441.32, supported by gains in consumer-discretionary, technology and health-care sectors.
The Nasdaq composite lost 76 points, or 1.2 percent, to 6,275.
"Historically, the market impact from North Korea's nuclear provocations has been limited", James Cheo, Investment strategist at Bank of Singapore wrote in a note on Friday. "And while risks remain elevated from a geopolitical perspective, valuations are not necessarily excessive, though full". "I think a few investors are in the process of surrender", one can read in a text to The canadian Press. Is that a reason to be?
Stock markets nosedived Thursday as investors continued moving into gold amid escalating political tensions between the United States and North Korea.
Still, the S&P and the Dow were on track to post their biggest weekly loss in about five months and the Nasdaq on course to post its biggest weekly fall in about six weeks. Amazon shares finished down 2.6%.
Investors said the week's swings were as much a result of earnings as geopolitics.
The VIX, also known as Wall Street's "fear gauge", jumped 44 percent, to 16.04, its highest level this year.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 7 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,445 as of 10:59 a.m.
Federal Reserve Presidents Robert Kaplan and Neel Kashkari are scheduled to give speeches.
Macy's dropped 4.2 percent as it reported second-quarter revenues fell 5.4 percent to $5.6 billion, another sign of the travails facing department stores. Some say expectations for its server-chip business were just too high (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nvidia-stock-could-pause-as-server-growth-slows-down-2017-08-10).
Asian equities excluding Japan slid the most in eight months on Friday as the rhetoric between USA and North Korean leaders intensified.
An editorial in China's state-run Global Times (http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1060791.shtml), published late Thursday local time, added to the pressure on Asian markets. US equities slid the most since May.
"If the USA and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so", the editorial's authors said.
Blue Apron Holdings fell 18% after saying it lost more money than analysts had expected in its first quarterly earnings report since going public in June.
Safe-haven assets such as gold and the Swiss franc were again in favor.