The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 36.64 points, or 0.17 percent, to end at 22,048.7, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 0.9 point, or 0.04 percent, to 2,474.02 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 18.13 points, or 0.28 percent, to 6,352.33.
Investors' unease over escalating tensions between the US and North Korea had weighed on stocks earlier in the day, pushing gold and bond prices slightly higher.
The technology sector was the biggest weight on the S&P 500 index with a 1.9-percent drop. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.2 percent.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 2.29-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.47-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
Johnson: UK working to bring diplomatic end to North Korea crisis
At the same time, a North Korean state news agency statement warned that "even a single shell dropped on the Korean Peninsula might lead to the outbreak of ... thermonuclear war".
The data comes amid tepid inflation that has remained below the Federal Reserve's 2 percent target, despite low unemployment. The major indexes were coming off their biggest single-day decline since May 17.
THE QUOTE: "Risk-averse sentiment is dominating global equities markets, and US indices have retraced from record levels over the last two days". But was retreating in recent trade.
Tensions with North Korea appear to have finally shaken the confidence of USA investors, after the S&P 500 opened 0.8% lower, threatening to end its 15-day streak with a closing streak of more than 0.3%, a 90-year record.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond fell to 2.2% and is approaching its lowest level of the year. Asian and European stocks continued the sharp decline Friday.
Stock market falls can hit pension values, but savers who are not set to take their savings for a number of years typically don't need to worry, as losses are usually recouped over the longer term. 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).
Scaramucci: Trump Should Have Been 'Much Harsher' On White Supremacy
Scaramucci is still a supporter of Trump's, saying that the president "can be a tough coach at times " but "this guy's a victor ". Kelly is said to be holding daily meetings with top White House aides throughout the president's working vacation in Bedminster.
BIG GAINERS: Health care stocks were among the big gainers.
North Korea on Thursday outlined details for a missile strike near the USA territory of Guam, adding fuel to rising tensions with the United States. They suggest the US and China, a North Korean ally, could work together to de-escalate the situation.
"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.
Large retailers Macy's and Kohl's tumbled on Thursday after they reported disappointing second-quarter results.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region saw further downside during trading on Thursday.
Browns: Jackson still not ready to name starting QB
And one that's best learned early in preseason, rather than when the games count. The Browns don't play again until August 21, when they host the New York Giants.
Safe-haven assets gained following the rising geopolitical tensions.