The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.17% and closed at 22,048.70. Despite the losses, Noble shares rose 17.14 percent.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 0.6 percent in its third session of declines, heading for a 1.5 percent drop for the week.
The Nasdaq lost 2.1% to 6,216.87.
The CBOE Volatility Index, the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, rose to a near three-month high of 15.36.
The VSTOXX, the main European gauge of equity investor anxiety, jumped 26 percent to 23.8, a near four-month high, though it remained near historically depressed levels.
After previously warning of "fire and fury" if North Korea persisted in threatening the U.S., President Donald Trump said Thursday his statement "wasn't tough enough". "When Kraft Heinz approached me for a food line, what got my attention is making nutritious comfort foods more accessible to everyone".
It has weakened 1.9 percent against the dollar this week, making it the worst performer among global emerging-market currencies. Chinese mainland shares were also down 1.8 percent. In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline dropped 2 cents to $1.60 a gallon, heating oil shed 2 cents to $1.63 a gallon and natural gas rose 10 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $2.99 per 1,000 cubic feet. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 97 cents, or 2 percent, to $48.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. South Korea's KOSPI was down 1.7 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng 1.8 percent.
Among commodities, copper fell on the Korea tensions and last traded at $6,342 a tonne, -1.6 percent.More news: Stocks veer higher into record territory; oil heads lower
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The recovery fit a recent pattern of investors using dips to put more money in stocks.
Spot gold was up 0.3% at $1,290.36 USA per ounce, set for its biggest weekly gains since April.
In economic news, second-quarter Singapore GDP growth was revised upwards to 2.2 percent compared to the previous quarter, above an earlier estimate of 0.4 percent growth.
Gold got an extra boost after data showed USA consumer prices rose less than expected in July, pointing to benign inflation that could make the Federal Reserve cautious about raising interest rates again this year.
"Obviously we are looking at the increased tensions between the United States and North Korea", said Brad Bechtel, managing director FX at Jefferies in NY.
USA crude shed 20 cents to $48.97 a barrel, while Brent crude fell 26 cents to $51.88 a barrel.
The euro dipped 0.1 percent to $1.1733 but the single European currency has been slipping this week against the dollar, having hit a more than 2 1/2-year high of $1.1892 on August 2.
ArcelorMittal, Rio Tinto, Glencore, Antofagasta, Anglo American, BHP Billiton and all fell 2.3 to 4.5 percent. It is poised to end the week down 1 percent.