January 18, 2018: Markets opened lower Thursday and the DJIA never crossed the break-even line all day. Worries over a government shutdown and rising bond yields have cooled the recent enthusiasm for equities although it is likely to return sooner rather than later. Thursday’s worst performing sectors have been real estate and energy, while tech and telecom have performed best. WTI crude oil for February delivery settled at $63.95 a barrel, down 2 cents for the day after a mixed inventory report. February gold dropped 0.9% on the day to settle at $1,327.20. Equities were headed for a narrowly lower close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded down 0.34% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.18%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.05%.
Bitcoin futures for January delivery traded at $11,855, up about 8.3% on the CME after opening at $11,125 this morning. The digital currency fell to an intraday low of $10,645 overnight.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Thursday was General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) which traded down 3.05% at $16.83. The stock’s 52-week range is $16.80 to $31.34, and the low was posted this afternoon. Volume was approaching double the daily average of around 87 million. The company had no specific news.
The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) traded down 2.91% at $340.79. The stock’s 52-week range is $157.29 to $352.23. Volume was more than double the daily average of around 3.6 million shares. The company had no specific news, but rival Airbus announced a $16 billion commitment this morning.
Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) traded down 1.31% at $61.22 The stock’s 52-week range is $53.63 to $66.80. Volume was about 10% higher than the daily average of around 13 million shares. The company had no specific news
The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) traded down 1.43% at $110.37. The stock’s 52-week range is $96.20 to $116.10. Volume was about 25% below the daily average of around 8.3 million shares. The company had no specific news Thursday.
Of the Dow stocks, 15 are on track to close higher Thursday and 15 are set to close lower.