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Here are five things you must know for Monday, Aug. 14:

1. -- U.S. stock futures were higher on Monday, Aug. 14, following European market gains, as investors returned to riskier assets after a week of losses. 

Last week, tensions escalated between North Korea and the U.S. after Trump warned of "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if North Korea continued to issue threats. North Korea then said it was assessing a potential missile attack on U.S. territory Guam.

Markets reacted poorly. The Dow Jones Industrial Average snapped a nine-day stretch of record closes, while the S&P 500 had its worst weekly loss since March 24. European indexes also sold off.

On Friday evening, Trump announced a planned press conference for Monday afternoon, though it is unclear whether North Korea will be discussed. 

Geopolitical tensions could pressure markets further in the coming week if Trump's rhetoric continues to intensify as it has so far. On Friday morning, he tweeted that the U.S. military was "locked and loaded" in case of "unwise" actions by North Korea.

"That's what investors like the least," Bodhi Ganguli, lead economist at Dun & Bradstreet, told TheStreet. "Uncertainty of a kind that you cannot actually predict anything out of it at all." 

2. -- Violence and chaos erupted in Charlottesville, VA over the weekend as white nationalists and protesters clashed. Events escalated when a car rammed into a protesting crowd, killing one and injuring at least 19 others. James Alex Fields, Jr. has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency earlier Saturday.

President Trump denounced the violence in Charlottesville in a statement on Saturday. In comments to the press, Trump said, "We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides."

However, critics said Trump's comments did not go far enough, particularly as he blamed violence "on many sides." Photos of a white supremacist rally at the University of Virginia on Friday night flooded social media, inflamed racial tensions, and drew anti-racism protesters on Friday and Saturday. The Friday night gathering was in protest of the planned removal of a Robert E. Lee statue commemorating his leadership of the Confederate army during the Civil War.

3. -- Earnings before the bell include Canadian Solar (CSIQ) , JD.com Inc. (JD) , and Sysco Corp. (SYY) .

The earnings calendar does not heat up until later in the week. On the docket, Advance Auto Parts Inc. (AAP) , Coach Inc. (COH) , Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. (DKS) , Home Depot Inc. (HD) , TJX Companies Inc. (TJX) , and Urban Outfitters Inc. (URBN) will report on Tuesday, Aug. 15; L Brands Inc. (LB) , and Target Corp. (TGT) on Wednesday, Aug. 16; Bon-Ton Stores Inc. (BONT) , Buckle Inc. (BKE) , Gap Inc. (GPS) , Ross Stores Inc. (ROST) , and Walmart Stores Inc. (WMT) on Thursday, Aug. 17; and Estee Lauder Companies Inc. (EL) on Friday, Aug. 18.

More than 90% of S&P 500 companies have reported earnings so far this quarter. Of those, nearly 74% have exceeded earnings estimates, while 68% have topped sales forecasts, according to Thomson Reuters data. The consumer staples and consumer discretionary sectors have been the smallest earnings growth this quarter, rising just 4.6% and 3.7%, respectively. That compares to an unparalleled 538.7% surge in energy earnings and a 16.3% increase in tech.

 

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