December 19, 2017: Markets opened mixed Tuesday as investors wait for Congressional action on the Republican tax bill easily and Senate passage is expected later today. President Trump will sign the bill. Housing starts were up, but equities couldn’t keep the pace. Counter-cyclicals real estate and utilities were the day’s big sector losers. WTI crude oil for January delivery settled at $57.46 a barrel, up 0.5% for the day. February gold droppeed 0.1% on the day to settle at $1,264.20. Equities were headed for a lower close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded down 0.04% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.23%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.40%.
Bitcoin futures for January traded at $18,225, down 4.6%, on the CME about an hour before settlement after opening at $19,135 this morning. Only 510 contracts had been traded in the session and open interest is just 215.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Tuesday was The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) which traded down 1.09% at $257.19. The stock’s 52-week range is $209.62 to $262.00. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 2.7 million shares. The investment bank had no specific news.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) traded down 1.07% at $174.53. The stock’s 52-week range is $114.76 to $177.20. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 27.5 million. Nomura downgraded the stock from Buy to Neutral and cut the price target from $185 to $175. Brave outfit.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) traded down 0.55% at $52.96. The stock’s 52-week range is $42.80 to $54.83. Volume was about a half the daily average of around 17 million shares. The company had no specific news.
General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) traded down 0.96% at $17.59. The stock’s 52-week range is $17.46 to $32.38. Volume was about a third below the daily average of around 75 million shares. The company had no specific news Tuesday.
Of the Dow stocks, 15 are on track to close higher Tuesday and 15 are set to close lower.