February 28, 2017: Markets opened lower again Tuesday but neither the Nasdaq Composite nor the S&P 500 index could climb out of the slough of despond. The blue chips did rise into positive territory briefly, but couldn’t hold onto the gains. Among the 11 S&P sectors, only utilities and consumer staples traded above the breakeven line while the losers were consumer discretionary sotcks and materials. WTI crude oil for April delivery settled at $54.01 a barrel, down 4 cents on the day, but up about 2.3% in the month of February. April gold dropped 0.4% on the day to settle at $1,253.90, but posted a gain of about 3.5% for the month. Equities were headed for a lower close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded down 0.18% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.35%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.70%.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Tuesday was Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) which traded down 1.58% at $70.61. The stock’s 52-week range is $62.72 to $75.19. Volume was about 30% above the daily average of around 9 million shares. The company had no specific news, but the carnage following Target’s earnings report this morning was not localized to just Target’s stock.
Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) traded down 1.15% at $36.09. The stock’s 52-week range is $29.50 to $38.45. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 22.2 million shares. The company had no specific news.
Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) traded down 1.05% at $57.08. The stock’s 52-week range is $49.01 to $65.44. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 9.4 million shares. The company had no specific news Tuesday.
E.I. du Pont de Nemours Inc. (NYSE: DD) traded down 0.93% at $78.49. The stock’s 52-week range is $61.12 to $80.66. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 3.4 million shares. The company had no specific news Tuesday.
Of the Dow 30 stocks, 11 are on track to close higher Tuesday and 19 are set to close lower.